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The sailing packet 'Duchess of Athol'

Date made: 1813

Artist: unknown artist

Description: The sailing packet 'Duchess of Athol', 1833

In December 2023 this painting will go on display in our National Art Gallery at the Manx Museum in a section dedicated to explaining how we conserve our artworks. It came into our collection in a poor state and in the gallery it will have a label explaining how we might fix such damage:

Chris Weeks, Collections Care and Conservation Manager for Manx National Heritage writes:

This painting is not in a glazed frame and is exceedingly dirty, which obscures the detail. It isn’t easy to clean paintings like this without dissolving some of the paint or loosening it on the canvas. We usually send paintings like this off-island for cleaning and conservation by specialists.

In addition to the dirt, at some point in its history it has suffered a puncture. This is a common fate for an old painting because their canvases are often thin and very weak. The treatment for a small hole such as this would be either ‘strip-lining’ (a little bit like a bicycle puncture repair) or ‘re-weaving’, which involves closing the hole by re-weaving the threads under the microscope. The closed hole would then be filled with gesso and re-touched with paints that can easily be dissolved should future custodians wish it.

Measurements: unframed artwork: 64.5 cm x 92 cm

Materials: oil on canvas

Object name: painting

Collection: Art Collection

ID number: L20231

Subject tags : #artgallerydamaged

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