Case Study: Mrs Harrison’s Dutch Painting

Mrs Harrison’s beautiful landscape painting depicts a Dutch wood she used to play in as a child. The painting was created by a friend of the family over 80 years ago, and has since taken pride of place in Mrs Harrison’s home.

At the start of Autumn, the painting fell from its position above an ornaments-laden table top. The painting hit the corner of the table – miraculously missing the ceramics. The reason for the sudden fall was unknown and without explanation, but the result was a 15 inch tear down the left of the painting.

We received a phone enquiry from Mrs Harrison after we were recommended by her insurance broker. Within the morning of picking up the enquiry, we visited Mrs Harrison at her home and brought the painting back to our studio in the afternoon for restoration.

The Restoration

The severity of the tear necessitated a full re-line of the canvas. Because it was jagged and not a ‘clean’ tear, we firstly provided initial stability for drawing the parts of the tear together and stabilising with individual canvas threads. A full re-line was then completed for full stability and to re-strengthen the painting.

Once the structural repair was secure, we turned our attention to the aesthetic aspect of the painting.

After removing the existing varnish, the painting was cleaned with a combination of solvents to remove years of dirt, contaminants and surface discolouration.

With a tear, there is always associated paint loss where the paint layer has been disrupted.

By pigment matching against the existing paint layer, we in-painted the lost areas around the tear and restored the vibrancy of the autumnal colours to the wood.

To ensure that the painting was protected before delivery, we applied a conservation grade, non-yellowing varnish for an even complementary finish.

It was a pleasure to be able to return and hang Mrs Harrison’s restored painting, within 5 weeks of the initial enquiry. We also gladly liaised extensively with the insurance broker on Mrs Harrison’s behalf to provide full details of the artwork and restoration, which negated what could have been an even more stressful situation.

The painting is now back in its rightful home, where it can continue to be enjoyed for many years to come.

If you have an artwork that has suffered damaged or needs a clean, and would like us to take a look, please contact us for our recommendations and a quote.

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