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Easel Paintings Conservation at National Museum Cardiff, Winter 2013

Julian Carter, 26 Tachwedd 2013

Our busy schedule includes several interesting conservation projects which cover several centuries! Currently Charles Reed is carrying out a full structural conservation and restoration of three rare 16th Century panels which portray the Stradling family. We have already undertaken a full technical examination of the artist’s materials and techniques, which includes real gold. In the first image Charles is seen removing layers of discoloured varnish and old restoration to reveal the original painting below.

Loans out to other museums and galleries in the UK and internationally are a major part of our work. In the second image conservator Adam Webster is seen examining a painting by Richard Wilson prior to transit to the US for a major exhibition which will be in Cardiff in 2014. Transporting paintings safely is a delicate art in itself which takes hours of preparation.

In the final image we have Katy Sanders working on an unvarnished painting by Rose Bonnor. The painting has become disfigured by a surface bloom caused by material migrating from the paint film. The bloom is being removed by Katy Sanders using a chelating agent which is added to water to safely remove unwanted material. This will allow us to see this beautiful portrait head in its full glory.

Julian Carter

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