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Portrait of Captain Robert Gick Karran

Date made: n.d.

Artist: unknown artist

Description: Captain Robert Gick Karran. Captain of vessels of the 'Karran line'. Died at sea on the 'Manx King', 19th July 1889 aged 43 years.

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:

Captain Robert Gick Karran of the Castletown based Karran Line died at sea whilst captaining the 'Manx King', on 19 July 1889 aged 43 years. This painting was probably commissioned shortly after his death. If you look closely you can see a maze of cracks in the paint caused during drying. The paint that has cracked is dark brown/ black and may contain bitumen (tar). These paints were cheap but their use often led to this kind of cracking.

Conservation of this painting would include cleaning followed by filling and painting the cracks (‘re-touching’). You can also see that the canvas is slack and saggy which has led to paint loss around the edge; re-lining with new canvas and re-stretching on a new stretcher frame is the most likely remedy.

The estimated cost of conservation of this painting by an off-Island specialist is £3,000.

Measurements: overall: 57 cm x 47 cm

Materials: oil on canvas

Object name: painting

Collection: Art Collection

ID number: 1954-6598

Subject tags : #artgallerydamaged


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