The owner who bought a beautiful mansion from 1860 in The Hague, felt directly responsible for preserving the ceiling painting in the garden room. Because the work had had a rough life. A missing stretcher frame, cut clamping strips, many tears and a wax and resin covering that is no longer sufficient, pollution and discolored overpainting are the start of a great project.
The start of the restoration project
Colleagues from home and abroad, interns, and the owner have put their shoulders to the wheel together. The desire to match the badly damaged painting with a modern sitting room and upholstery that looks perfect. How are we going to approach this?… step by step and in full confidence that the ceiling painting restoration project will succeed.
Literally, step by step, this work of 218 x 480 cm unrolled its history and developed into a plan of approach. The existing framework is no longer present. The painting was presented to me rolled up and had to be rolled out immediately. The canvas came straight from the studio of another restorer where it had been rolled up and waiting for treatment for 2 years. But it didn’t work out. We gave it a new Artel aluminum window.
Delete old duplicate
But before that happened, the old cladding had to be torn loose. Kilograms of beeswax and natural resin have been removed from the covering. A very dirty and labor-intensive job.
We had no choice but to make this decision. The canvas itself consisted of a centerpiece and two stitched strips. Strangely enough, it was cut in half in the middle. The sheeting held this together with an extra strip of linen.
Wax layers scrape and melt, but the beeswax is never completely removable.
This work revealed many local damages in the original canvas. Then the double cloth is carefully picked off around the damage with a small spatula. All damage has been repaired locally at the rear. And later on the front with a linen insert with nonwoven tissue and BEVA film.
This was part one of the ceiling painting restoration project, read more in part two