Sounds like the title of a bad low-budget movie, but just before the Christmas break our ‘Façade of a Jesuit Church’ painting made it’s triumphant return to Dyrham from Antwerp. It was good to see it back again and also a good opportunity to book in a visit from a painting conservator. ( Like a spa-day and manicure for paintings…) Conservators Kate and Yvonne arrived with all the tools of the trade, and set to work.
The First task was to prepare a work table to rest the painting on face down, to remove the Melonex. ( A protective backing.. not an ex-melon) After padding the table with sheets and blankets to protect the surface of the frame, the real work could begin. Firstly, the nails and corks had to be removed that support the painting in its frame, then the task of removing the painting from the frame so both could be treated safely. With cotton gloves on, the painting was gently lifted out and moved over to rest against the wall. The attention then moved to the frame and to replace the corks with thin strips of balsa wood and foam, tacked into place along with metal strips that will serve as a support to the canvas.