Case Study 02


Isabelle de Borchgrave

From the series Splendor of the Medici

Paper costume inspired by the allegorical figure of Flora in Sandro Botticelli’s painting Primavera

189 cm x 64 cm x 68 cm

Isabelle wanted works of art to ‘come to life’ and leap out paintings into a room. She had been working with paper for more than a decade, recreating historic costumes and couture in life size paper models - but not in a traditional way. Her paper models resembled fabric, the way silk or velvet could fall down the body.

Flore brings Boticelli’s goddess of spring to life with painted flowers flowing over the paper model. The challenge of preserving and conserving an item such as this intrigues me. How does paper - or items made from paper but feel closer to fabric - fall under the work of a conservator and what conservator?


Mancoff, Debra, Danger! Women Artists at Work, pg. 62.

© Jess Hay
artist based in Glasgow