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Front before treatment

Front before treatment

The loose canvas arrived in a cardboard box, rather crumpled with roughly cut edges and burned, blistered painting along the bottom edge.  It was very cracked with raised cracks, flaking paint and paint losses.

It had been found in a burning skip.  The finder cut off the burned edges and stuck it on the wall in a frame for a couple of decades before it was discovered and the original owners from whom it had been stolen were contacted.

Front in raking light during treatment

During treatment in raking light.  This photograph shows the raised cracks and flaking paint with tissue still attached after consolidation with isinglass.   The texture of the paint is very marked in this photo, but even more noticeable are the raised cracks in the paint and the creases in the canvas,


Painting undergoing marouflage treatment on the lining table

After stabilising all the fragile lifting areas of paint and flattening the creases in the canvas, the painting needed solid support, a process known as marouflage. 

Marouflage is a major intervention essential for this painting.  The extreme thickness of the paint, and the length of time it had spent creased, meant that the creases and raised cracks would soon return.  Adhering it to a solid support permanently stabilises it.  Marouflage is a complex process, being a modern painting, the paint is heat sensitive and very strongly textured.  Only low pressure and temperatures are safe for the painting. An aluminium honeycomb panel with a double alumimium skin supplies the solid support with a marouflage adhesive that activates at low temperatures and moderate pressure.  The process was carried out on a lining table.  This table, specially designed for conservation work, supplies even heating over the whole surface combined with an even allover pressure.  Both temperature and pressure must be carefully controlled.


Front after treatment

Front after treatment, after marouflage, surface dirt removal, filling and retouching

Front after treatment in raking light

Front after treatment in raking light