Decorating using gold leafs is one of the most ancient technique used to embellish the surfaces of various art objects. How and why they were used is closely related to the society in which they were produced, revealing its aesthetical and/or religious values. During the Baroque, such became a mark of the period. In Portugal and Spain this is particularly obvious in the religious art, namely in the gilded carved wood altarpieces and sculptures. This international conference proposes to act as the final dissemination action of the Gilt-teller project (PTDC/EAT-EAT/116700/2010; www.gilt-teller.pt). It will address the whole range of scientific and research knowledge and tools that the study and conservation of Gilded Cultural Heritage require.

Thus the conference's main aim is to create a platform of shared knowledge between the Humanities and the Applied Sciences, focusing on gilded materials and techniques of the European artistic and technical tradition.

The themes to be addressed in the 6 proposed sessions are:

1) Historical and technical sources on gilding materials and techniques;

2) Conservation State Assessment and conservation-restoration studies on gilded artefacts;

3) Multiscale and multidisciplinary analytical studies on gilded artefacts;

4) From the historical sources to the reproduction of gilding recipes in the laboratory;

5) Gilding materials and techniques between Europe and Overseas countries;

6) Outreach and dissemination strategies;

The interdisciplinary and international context of the conference is underlined not only by the presence of recognized specialists in these fields of research but also by allowing the participation of a wide range of theoreticians and practitioners, including art historians, architects, archaeologists, conservator-restorers as well as conservation and environmental scientists.

Therefore, the conference intends to launch a new, holistic insight on the evolution, relationships and tools, both traditional and innovative, applied in the conservation and study of gilding materials and techniques in Europe and other areas of the globe.

On behalf of the Organizing Committee, we wish to welcome you to this international event, to be held in a delightful Portuguese town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where culture, history and science join forces for your fruition.

Main chair
Irina Sandu

Elsa Murta
Manuel Pereira