Maria Mey

Painting Conservation project

This project came along at the end of January, thanks to the Workshop I leaded at the GMIT in Castlebar. If you haven’t read that post yet, here you can take a look to understand what it was about.

As I had the pleasure to advice students during the workshop with such interesting objects, at the end I got asked to work on one in particular in order to know about the artist and improve the conservation state of the painting.

Irish Cottages Front
Irish Cottages Back


The painting, as we can slightly see, it had mainly smoke and dirt as it was hung in a local pub in Ballinasloe Co. Galway. The History of the Object is that it got used as payment by the artist for lodging.

Before starting the process, the visual examination let us know that the frame was built in several pieces nailed together, probably after the time the painting was made. So in order to search for any possible signature it was necessary to remove it.

It was really interesting to discover that the frame was actually built on the stretcher and, that this added element was indeed hiding the artist’s signature which improved the experience of the treatment.

After a gentle cleaning of the surface, the textile got restored and reinforced in order to make it able to hold the whole object in a more stable way.

Detail of the hole left by the hanging system
Detail restoration of tear

As the object was in not a really bad condition, the treatment was quite simple and safe, being able to come back to her happy owner soon enough looking like this:

Front after treatment
Back after treatment


Stay tuned for many other projects to come!

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