J. Laffan Fine Art Conservation

Professional Conservation and Restoration of Fine Art and Antiques, Ireland

Painting Repairs

Repair and Restoration of 18th Century Irish Portrait

The accidental damage causing a hole in the left shoulder was not the only problem with this painting. The fibres of the canvas were very weak and the ground (the preparation under the paint) was separating from the canvas (see page: Painting Structure) This painting was removed from its stretcher and lined with new canvas on the back. The torn area was brought into line. The painting was now stable facilitating the removal of surface dirt, old varnish and old repaints. Missing ground was filled to the original surface level missing paint was inpainted to match the surrounding colours. Several layers of varnish were applied - replacing dried oils in the paint - bringing the colours back to life.
18th century Irish portrait - before restoration
The tear in this painting is clearly visible in the centre
18th century Irish portrait - close-up of tear
Close up of a tear in the canvas
18th century Irish portrait - close up of restored tear
Close-up of the repaired tear
18th century Irish portrait - after restoration
The painting restored