J. Laffan Fine Art Conservation

Professional Conservation and Restoration of Fine Art and Antiques, Ireland

Lining of Fall of The Rebel Angels by Samuel Forde (1805- 1828), The Crawford Art Gallery, Cork.

Lining a painting with new canvas is necessary when the fibres of the original become weak or when the ground under the paint starts to separate from the canvas, also in cases of severe damage , large holes and tears. 60% to 70% of 19th C. paintings on canvas have been lined, 90% of canvases older than 1800 have been lined. The compounds used to bind the new canvas in place penetrate to the ground holding and preserving it and the paint layer on top.
Large damaged painting on floor of workshop
Fall of the Rebel Angels after lining and before cleaning
When this large painting was discovered in early 1999 it was in rolled up and covered in dust. This brilliant Cork artist died tragically at a young age of tuberculosis. He completed this masterpiece in the years just before he died. The painting and preparatory drawings and sketches can be seen in the Crawford Gallery Cork. The painting was formed from four strips of linen sewn together. Why this was done is debatable, the availability of wide cloth could have been a problem at the time or it was simply the cost. There are plenty of other examples of this method, for example the portrait of the Spanish ambassador by Van Loo in the National Gallery Dublin and his large family portrait in Lismore Castle both prestigious commissions.

The fabric of the linen was very weak and the ground layer was separating from the linen support, it was therefore decided to line this painting. It took just over a year to conserve this painting.
Biblical scene of expulsion of rebel angels from heaven - the painting restored
Fall of The Rebel Angels after conservation. Samuel Forde, 1805- 1828, oil on canvas, 297×236 cm. The Crawford Art Gallery, Cork.