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Should I paint this old plaster satyr?
Rafael Martínez-Cortiña
February 23, 2013 in Design Dilemma
This satyr molding was placed in 1868 and it was originally coloured. Over the years, all the color has gone and it is actually plain white.

Would you leave it white or would you rather repaint it?
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toni1959
Are you keeping the room the same color or changing it? I would keep the satyr the same color white if the room were to stay white.
February 23, 2013 at 3:52PM     
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Rafael Martínez-Cortiña
Thanks for your advice tony1959. The room shall stay white. I have doubts because with white it looks elegant but rather invisible.
February 23, 2013 at 3:56PM   
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lesliemahler
I like keeping it white too. What about having a local artist hit the shadows of the sculpture with grey - as you would see if sun was shining on a face in a picture? Good luck, your place looks like a real treasure!
February 23, 2013 at 4:01PM     
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Pamela Bateman Garden Design
I am not an interior decorator but this caught my eye. What a great thing to have above a doorway! Is there any significance to having a satyr above a pantry? I agree with you it may stand out a bit more if it were a few shades darker than the wall color. Or you could pick up the gray color in the border and paint the satyr and the trim around him that pale gray blue. I couldn't help but look at your profile to see if there were any more pictures and found the beautiful Villa Jardines. I love the Fumoir or smoking room. Is there a garden? I would love to see those pictures.
February 23, 2013 at 4:05PM   
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Rafael Martínez-Cortiña
Thanks lesliemahler. Thanks for the advise. A very pale grey is definetely one of the options, just to make it look a little bit more dramatic, though not scary ;-)
February 23, 2013 at 4:18PM     
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Barnhart Gallery
LeslieMahler, I was going to say the same thing! I have his twin as a front door knocker in rusty iron.
February 23, 2013 at 4:24PM   
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Judit
oh yes just a little gray shadow, who would want a satyr staring at him all day long from above? :)
February 23, 2013 at 4:25PM   
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Rafael Martínez-Cortiña
Thanks Pamela. From 1868 to 1899, the building was the residence of the Marchis del Busto. The current kitchen was formerly the "teatrino" and was used for performing chamber arts (basically theatre and concerts) and was also used as a puppet theatre for the kids. Next to the kitchen there is a storage space, now used for dishes, cups, glasses and whatnot, but it used to be the dressing room that gave the actors and musicians the space to dress and store instruments. Just above the entry to the changing room there is a plaster molding of a satyr on one side (the front) and a catholic cross on the other (inside). The cross was savagely vandalised in 1937 (Spanish Civil War), but the satyr remained intact. The building dates back to 1623 and first belonged to the italian II Marchioness of La Fioresta, so the satyr could actually be very old.

There is no garden anymore. Six 19th century buildings occupy its former space. Now, Villa Jardines is just a building with four walls in the very centre of Madrid, but keeps its former name.

By the way, the name of the street is Calle de los Jardines (Street of the Gardens), precisely because until the 1800s the gardens of the few palatial houses were luscious.
February 23, 2013 at 4:37PM     
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Pamela Bateman Garden Design
Thank you for the history. Oh to see those gardens in the 1800's! And thank you for sharing the pictures. I would love to have that satyr above my kitchen door.
February 23, 2013 at 4:48PM   
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Southern Patina Interiors
I like keeping it white or the color of the wall. This way it's not imposing, but definitely noticeable.
February 24, 2013 at 12:04AM   
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DIAspoton
how wonderful. i agree with the others about a faint natural shadow.
another option would be to very lightly use a metallic gilt paste rub in the same color as the whiteish paint currently there. the gilt would very subltley highlight the features and make the satyr more noticeable.
February 24, 2013 at 12:25AM   
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rawketgrl
Absolutely the coolest pantry satyr ever! :) It reminds me of icing on a cake.

I like the idea of the shadows best. Here are some mock ups to give you ideas. I would hope you can find someone who is far better at painting than I am with my computers painting application!

Thank you for sharing your beautiful home.
February 24, 2013 at 12:35AM   
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ASVInteriors
If the room is to stay white and this is such an old piece, I suggest you leave it untouched.

The satyr is now an antique and as such, it loses tremendous value when people alter its original state. Which would be a great pity. If in doubt, please have it appraised before you do any painting to it to appreciate its value and consider the route you wish to take.

I have seen this done in homes before where the plasterwork is painted but the moulding and relief remains white - this seems to have been the traditional manner of presenting relief.


All the best in this beautiful project
February 24, 2013 at 12:47AM   
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