Colour print – ‘Madonna of Good Counsel’


Madonna Of Good Counsel – German color print

Color printed posters marked the advent of modern day lithography.  At the bottom edge of the print a serial number, and the title are printed in Italian, English and German.  The print had a glossy finish.   Philip Sakwa our client, is a Ugandan national who lives and works in Kenya.  He acquired this print in an extremly poor condition and has since then kept it as a treasured memory of his Grandmother and her home.

‘Madonna of Good Counsel’:-

  • Color print, made in Germany
  • Print – Size 30cm x 39cm
  • Frame – Machine carved hard-wood
  • Hard wood frame – Size 42cm x 50.5cm
  • Hard wood backer secured print with iron nails
  • Both frame and backer are 1cm thick

Charred from sunlight, ingrained soil, bird and insect droppings

The Madonna was framed in a carved hardwood frame, with a wooden backer.  The print was exposed to strong sunlight, with holes, tears, creases with ingrained soil and water damage.  Plus the print and frame had bird and insect droppings.  Both the verso and recto were severely damaged.  The framed print was brought to us all taped with newspaper and regular celotape.


The Color Print of Madonna Of Good Counsel, Hard Wood Frame and Backer Restored

First the print was carefully removed from the wooden backer and frame.   Rust from the iron nails was mechanically removed to prise the print from the wooden backer.  After humidification, the print underwent 11 rounds of washing, closely watching the stability of the print media as well as the threshold of the paper.  After which we decided to stop chemical treatment after preliminary de-acidifaction and finished with re-sizing.  The print was re-inforced with strong Japanese tissue, holes filled and all tears mended before completing systematic color matching on all parts of loss of print media.  The original wooden frame and backer were restored.  The hard wood of the frame and backer were in good condition underneath all the caked dirt.

This is what the client had to say!

"This is of sentimental value to me because it is the only piece that is left of the history of my Grandmother - it was donated to her by Catholic sisters when she was getting married - almost 80 years ago." Philip Sakwa Nairobi, Kenya