A tomada de decisão perante um ato de vandalismo
: confronto entre os valores históricos e estéticos na intervenção de conservação-restauro do retrato de D. Maria Ermelinda Vianna

  • Beatriz Helena Marques de Pinho (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The present dissertation has as its object of study a painting on canvas, the portrait of the benefactress D. Maria Ermelinda Vianna, belonging to the Santa Casa da Misericórdia do Porto, whose large part of the collection is constituted of this type of paintings, as result of the portrait tradition as a mode to honor the institution's benefactors. The selection of this work became pertinent as it raises questions related to the understanding of art as an object of social identity, due to, at a certain point in its trajectory, the portrait of D. Maria Ermelinda was the target of an act of vandalism, through mechanical damages directed to the face area. With the aim of approaching this action as an integral element of the history of painting, through theoretical reflection with a clear impact on practice, the conservation-restoration intervention sought to understand the work in its formal and documentary duality, assuming vandalism as a record of the belonging context and sociocultural experience of the work. Taking the critical analysis of methodological possibilities as a starting point, it was clear to define a treatment that respected the return of structural stability and aesthetic reading of the painting, in line with the intention of integrating the act of vandalism. The decision-making, therefore, was based on respect for the artistic and historical values of this portrait, which is representative of the sociocultural context experienced in 19th century Porto, ensuring a balance between the image and all the marks that are part of the material component of the work.
Date of Award5 Apr 2024
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorJoana Teixeira (Supervisor) & Vânia Maria Coutinho (Co-Supervisor)


  • Portrait painting
  • City of Porto
  • 19th century
  • Act of vandalism
  • Conservation-restoration
  • Different methods


  • Mestrado em Conservação e Restauro de Bens Culturais

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