Hercules Sculptures Treatment

Kykuit, Tarrytown, NY

EverGreene performed the conservation treatment of the two 17th Century Vicenza limestone Hercules sculptures, which are now on display in the cascading Kykuit gardens on the west side, overlooking the Hudson River.  The two sculptures are attributed to Italian Baroque sculptor Orizio Marinali and originated in Venice, Italy.  They depict imagery from Classical Mythology, based on the acts of Hercules, including slaying the Nemean lion and fighting the Hydra. The sculptures sit upon a limestone base on top of an Istrian marble lower pedestal. The scope of work for this project included extensive cleaning of the sculptures, repointing of joints, and masonry repairs.

Our conservators began by removing the present biological growth on the sculptures, bases, and pedestals, followed by a general cleaning of the elements using an antibiological cleaning agent, detergent, and a low-pressure power washer. Once cleaning was completed, all the deteriorated mortar joints were removed and repointed.  The old mortar and debris was removed from the joint, new shims and backer rods were inserted into the joint, followed by a new custom mixed Type N mortar. Skyward facing joints were capped with lead T-Caps to prevent water infiltration.

Finally, repairs were completed on the sculptures. The intent of the repairs was not to fully restore the sculptures, but to stabilize and prevent further deterioration.