Elof Risebye – A Pioneer in the Transfer of Wall Paintings on the Wrong Path

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The transfer of wall paintings was introduced to Denmark by Italian restorers in 1913. A misunderstanding of this technique led to the development of a faulty method by Elof Risebye, an artist, who by chance got involved in the restoration of wall paintings. The use of the wrong adhesive resulted in massive damage of the paint layer. Risebye disguised his losses by overpainting, which he carried out according to his own style of painting, not at all following the style of the painter's whose work he was restoring. He also taught his students at the Fresco and Mosaic School how to detach frescoes, thus disseminating his faulty method. Due to Risebye's activities there are a significant number of transferred wall paintings in Denmark which are in dire need of treatment today.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPast Practice - Future Prospects : The British Museum Occasional Paper
EditorsAndrew Oddy, Sandra Smith
Number of pages7
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherThe British Museum
Publication date2001
ISBN (Print)0 86159 145 3
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • casein, detachment, fresco, strappo, transfer, wall paintings

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