Several paintings from our maritime collection needed some TLC before their go back on display once the refurbishment of Maritime Museum is completed.
Here the HMS Britannia before and after conservation carried out by Lincoln Conservation.
The backing board was removed and the painting was photographed under using different angles of light sources and wavelengths. This helps to identify previous repairs, overpainting, etc. The stretcher and the canvas were carefully cleaned using dry brush and a vacuum cleaner with suction control.
The back of the painting was further cleaned using a mild cleaning solution, applied with cotton swabs.
The old repair patches at the back of the canvas were removed and the old wax-like adhesive was carefully scraped away. Any deformed areas on the canvas were flattened or reduced using a heated spatula, repeated humidification treatments and application of weights.
Areas were painting was flaking, were consolidated using and a collagen solution and heated spatula. The old varnish was kept as its removal would result in the loss of much of the overpainted detail to the riggin. The discoloured overpainted areas and extensive visible drying cracks were retouched. A final varnish was then applied by brush.
The frame was also cleaned and retouched using acrylic paints and shell gold, a paint that is made from mixing genuine gold powder.