Chawton House Library’s programme of painting conservation with conservator, Caroline Baker, has reached the first stage of completion with the portrait of Amelia Opie by her husband, John Opie.
The Opie was in a bad state and looked as though it had spent a long time hanging near a heat source, which had made it unstable. There were also large amounts of over-painting, some of which was flaking off – perhaps it is now more understandable that visitors thought it an unflattering portrait of a wife by her husband!
Caroline’s work has stabilised the painting and removed layers of discoloured varnish, as well as fixing many of the cracks and flaking which were occurring on the surface of the picture.
Caroline will continue to work with us on more of our most vulnerable – and important – paintings. She will usually be working on the tour route so that visitors can watch the process and ask questions about conservation, as well as seeing the paintings up close!
Once again, many thanks indeed to the Golsoncott and De Laszlo Foundations for making the conservation of these paintings possible. We are very grateful for all their support.