Date completed : 1 February 2010 Duration : 3 Weeks
Rachel Witt


The Portrait of a Lady was in extremely bad condition. It did not appear to have been restored in the past, unusual for a painting over 250 years old.

The canvas was very fragile and weak and the painting had suffered a large multi directional tear in the sitter’s torso. A network of age cracks covered the surface much of which was associated with cupping paint. Pronounced stretcher bar marks were visible around the edges.

There was a thick layer of dirt on the surface below which there was a severely discoloured varnish. 

Conservation treatment. 

Due to the poor condition of the canvas and the large tear, it was necessary to reinforce the support with a glue paste lining.

The dirt and discoloured varnish were removed and the losses were filled and textured. A fresh varnish was applied to enhance the colours and the fills and cracks were retouched to reintegrate as much as possible. 

Before treatment.
After treatment.
Tear before treatment.
Tear after filling and toning down.
Portrait of a Lady
Face before treatment.
Portrait of a Lady
Face after treatment.
Craquelure before treatment.
Portrait of a Lady

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