Evaluation of St.Vitus mosaic conservation

This project was involved in the restoration of the St. Vitus mosaic. The Golden Gate - the southern entrance to the cathedral of St. Vitus - is decorated with a unique work of art, a coloured, richly gilded mosaic representing the Last Judgement. In 1992 the Office of the President of the Czech Republic and the Getty Conservation Institute began to cooperate to restore and conserve the mosaic. Having the historical photo of the mosaic from the end of the 19th century and the photos of the current state, we study the evolution of the mosaic, which was several times reconstructed and conserved. Firstly we tried to restore the historical photograph - remove noise, deblur the image, increase the contrast. Then, we remove the geometrical difference between images (by means of the multimodal registration - mutual information). Finally, we identify mutual differences between the photos, which indicate the changes realized on the mosaic during the centuries.


On the images you can see the historical and new photos of the mosaic, ...


example of corresponding details for the old and new photograph and their registered version in two-color mode, ...


and examples of detected differences.


Region No.1: the hair wave, which is present on the current mosaic, is missing on the old one; region No.2: the top coffin edge on the historical image continues till the border; region No.3: the ornamental patterns have different shapes on the photographs.

Duration: 2001-2003
Contact person: Barbara Zitova
Involved people: Jan Flusser, Filip Sroubek