01 April 2009

The Central Canvas

The patch that was found on the front of the central canvas was very carefully removed. Solvent vapours were used to soften the glue and peel away the patch.

The huge hole then needed to be flattened and stabilised. A canvas insert was cut and installed into the hole to re-create the original texture and appearance. The edges of the tear were glued back together for strength. Any final small holes were filled from the back.

Picture: patch from behind
The canvas need to be lined with another layer of canvas to give it added strength. A synthetic canvas was prepared with a special heat set adhesive and hand lined to the canvas.

Picture: preparing the lining canvas with glue

The canvas was then re-stretched onto its original stretcher and the new patch was inpainted to match the original canvas.

This treatment was very successful. The central canvas now has as much of the original painting showing as possible. It is stable and the tear is no longer visible. The re-touching and damage should be almost invisible to anyone in the cathedral.

The final picture after treatment will be uploaded once the scaffolding comes down and a picture can be taken from below.

11 March 2009

Retouching an angel

Video of Matteo re-touching:

During the service, the conservators continue to work quietly so not to disturb anyone. It must be said that it is lovely to listen to the hymns each day while working.

10 March 2009

step by step conservation of angel

Finally the angel after completion

Re-touching almost there.

The losses and overpaint are filled to match the original texture and the fill is toned to make re-touching easier.

Half way - the left hand side has been very carefully stripped of overpaint. The right hand side has been completely lost. The choice was made to re-paint the face to closely match the original finish.

Before Treatment - The over painted angel

02 March 2009

Interview with conservator about conservation of one angel.


Video: Matteo talks about the re-touching process.


Video: Matteo Volonte talks about removing overpaint and uncovering the original angel beneath.

Uncovering the date

Conservator Adam Godijn reveals the original date by removing the overpaint with solvents.

Overpainted Angel

Overpainted Angel

Considerable re-painting was found in the main dome. One of the angel's faces was worst effected and appeared very crude in comparison to the originals. It was thought that the original face had been completely lost. However after investigation we found that in areas it was possible to remove the overpaint and reveal, save the original painting.

01 March 2009

Week 2: cleaning angels

Cleaning the dirt from an angels face after stabilising the paint layer. The white section of paint on the left is a paint loss which will later be inpainted.
This movie shows us the first stage of cleaning with a molecular sponge to remove any loosely bound surface dirt.