Decision-making process and restoration work of a photographic-based artwork by Ernesto de Sousa


  • Élia Roldão LAQV-REQUIMTE, Department of Conservation and Restoration, NOVA School of Science and Technology, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
  • Susana França de Sá LAQV-REQUIMTE, Department of Conservation and Restoration, NOVA School of Science and Technology, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
  • Alexandra Pinto Rodrigues Independent conservator-restorer
  • Emília Tavares Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea do Chiado, Rua Serpa Pinto, 4 | Rua Capelo, 13, 1200-444 Lisboa, Portugal



Ernesto de Sousa, Photography, Mixed media, Condition assessment, Decision-making, Conservation and restoration


This paper discusses the conservation challenges posed by the mixed-media photographic artwork, Revolução, Corpo, Tempo (1978) by Ernesto de Sousa, from Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea do Chiado, in Portugal. Due to the artwork's poor condition and an exhibition request, a conservation intervention was needed. However, the definition of a conservation plan was challenging because of the complex and singular creative process of Ernesto and the highly deteriorated exhibition mounting. The lack of existing information led to the start of a research study and to the production of new documentation. This paper examines the gathered knowledge on Ernesto de Sousa's work and case study, and his possible position regarding the artwork’s deterioration and evolution over time – fundamental issues for decision-making in conservation. Based on visual observation, archive research, informal interviews, photo-documentation, infrared spectroscopy, and x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, this paper discusses the challenges, the methodology and the applied treatment.


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Details of some damages found on the artwork: distortion (Ernesto de Sousa)




How to Cite

Roldão, Élia, França de Sá, S., Pinto Rodrigues, A., & Tavares, E. (2023). Decision-making process and restoration work of a photographic-based artwork by Ernesto de Sousa. Conservar Património, 43, 93–112.




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