A plan was hatched to re-hang one of our paintings. ‘Urchin mocking an old woman’ is a copy of a painting we already have in Dyrham’s collection. It is thought to have been produced by an associate of Gainsborough. The Original, thought to have been painted by Murillo, was once part of the collection, but was sold. ( It was missed so much that a copy was commissioned to replace it. The original then being re-acquired and making  a triumphant return.) The copy used to hang on the opposite wall to the original, in our Drawing room. (This used to be a library, and the library is now where the billiard room used to be. Not sure what dimension the billiard room ended up in…) This was a little tricky as there’s a painting there already. So, To take down the portrait, we needed four young fit and healthy members of staff. (three and me) Two of us took the weight of the painting while ladders were placed to get to unhook the frame by the other two. As we were and always are, mindful of the correct procedure, we put on conservation gloves made of white cloth. (I don’t mind telling you, the temptation to bust out a Michael Jackson/ French mime artist impression was almost too much for me to bear!.. ) This is because the gilding on the frame needs to be protected when touching it. Taking hold of the painting frame so not to grip too tightly and damage it, but tightly enough to hold it firmly, we lifted with a silent heave-ho. The procedure to transport a painting is fairly straight forward. Check your route. (Remove any obstructions, open doors, put lights on etc) The last thing you want is to trip over a carpet or cable or cat when you have a unique piece of art in your grasp! Next thing to consider is how many people are to be involved and what role they will be playing in the move. It was decided that the muscle would be provided by myself and co-worker Bridget, With Katy and House manager Linda overseeing the operation.

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About arlingtoncourtblog

Welcome to my blog! I've been keeping it to document my training as a Conservation Assistant for the National Trust at Dyrham Park. View all posts by arlingtoncourtblog

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