Case Study of full picture repair, lining, cleaning and restoration.
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This painting is by the well-known and much respected British artist Michael Ayrton (1921-1975). The title is ‘Hedges and Ditches’ and was at one time sold by a prestigious art gallery in Cork Street London, possibly in the 1960’s.
It’s unclear as to how it got into this condition when received into the studio, however, it is clear the painting has had a hard life and was in dire need of some care and attention.
Aside from the breaks and tears it had an unstable paint layer delaminating from the canvas support.
Our first job was to take multiple photographs of the painting. We do this with all paintings not just for our records but also to ensure the client has a full report of everything we do.
The painting was initially cleaned to remove surface dirt and airborne deposits and then further cleaned, where safe to do so, in order to remove the discoloured varnish.
Our in-house picture liner made a series of inserts where the canvas was missing using a canvas of identical thickness and weave. The painting was then lined using Beva® 371 as an adhesive keeping the original turnover.
After lining and further cleaning the breaks were filled, and where required, textured to match the surrounding area. A thin retouching varnish was applied with a brush.
The retouching was done using powdered pigments suspended in a synthetic medium and when complete the painting received a spray varnish.