Figure of Lohan
Conservation of this Chinese sculpture involved mostly consolidation of the polychrome layer, cleaning and minor structural treatment. Very small amount of filling and toning was needed.
The date of the sculpture is not known.
This project was carried out for a private client who was involved in deciding various steps of the conservation treatment, especially the final presentation.
Chinese wooden polychrome figure of seated Lohan, 90 cm high, is an example of my treatment of non-European sculpture which has been repainted at least twice in its history. It is carved in the round in good quality hardwood, adhered and dowelled together from several pieces of timber. Its structural condition is very good, with no woodworm damage. The entire surface is polychrome and was, before treatment, covered in a thick accumulation of dirt. All of the paint layers and underlying gesso are water-soluble, which required very specific cleaning and consolidation methods. I recorded all the polychrome layers, original or later, and retained all. Structural treatment involved adhering strips of linen to fragile edges of the carving from the underside. Filling and toning were only done where absolutely necessary, mostly to disguise recent losses in wood.
The figure is now on open display in its owner’s home.