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Wall Painting Studio

The Wall Painting Studio performs pioneering work in interdisciplinary research, prevention and conservation, oriented towards scientific study and practice.

A tailor-made treatment strategy

Our clients mainly call upon us for our targeted expertise and privileged access to the vast interdisciplinary research field of the Institute. Most of our studies result in pilot projects that deliver detailed treatment strategies tailored to the particular needs of mural painting. Our guidelines are not only rigorously tested but also scientifically based. In addition, we can also count on the valuable expertise of our colleagues in the Monument Decoration Lab, who are equipped with mobile analysis equipment. In addition, specialists ‒ both internal and external ‒ also provide input.

We provide a detailed programme with practical instructions for conservation-restoration for pilot projects. In other cases, we also carry out the restoration treatment ourselves. We can also supervise works on site.

First point of contact

Our Studio is the first point of contact for all questions concerning murals. We offer advice and assistance on complex conservation issues and challenges during treatment. In doing so, we are guided by the latest findings in scientific research.

What we do:

  • assess the state of conservation and make treatment recommendations
  • evaluate specifications and bids that must meet E.C.C.O. ethical standards
  • monitor ongoing treatment projects
  • develop strategies for sustainable conservation.

For questions that fall outside our areas of expertise, we are happy to put you in touch with other specialists or competent bodies from our extensive network.

Identification and valorisation

We constantly expand our expertise by conducting art-historical (iconography, style and dating) and material-technical research (technique, materials and execution). Hence, we work on murals from different periods and locations throughout Belgium.

Each study is the subject of an extensive photographic campaign. All these pictures are freely accessible in our online database BALaT. They contribute to the Belgian heritage inventory and allow everyone to discover the beauty of our wall paintings from the comfort of their own home.

Shanna Caboz Cabeleira

We invest heavily in innovative mobile research techniques. For example, we used infrared reflectography to study the underlying layers of the Last Judgement mural in the Church of Saint Martin, Aalst. In collaboration with the University of Antwerp, we also carried out examinations using Ma-XRF scanning. The results provided essential information about the production techniques of this late medieval masterpiece.

Shanna Caboz Cabeleira

Practical research, sharing knowledge and passion

As a scientific institution, we put science-based issues on the agenda for the optimal conservation and restoration of wall paintings. In collaboration with universities, expertise centres and research laboratories in Belgium and abroad, we aim to provide practical and sustainable solutions. These solutions benefit the entire heritage sector, be it the consolidation of lime-sprayed plaster, the application of protective coatings or the degradation and colour change of certain pigments in medieval wall paintings.

We share our research and treatment findings through specialised journals, our own publications and conferences in Belgium and abroad. We also like to share our fascination for the beautiful Belgian wall paintings with art lovers on-site during Open Monuments Days or Heritage Day.