Straightening out the Queen Juliane Marie - a conservation process in pictures
How can a conservator repair a damaged piece of art without touching the colour layer? Follow the transformation of a particularly vulnerable and deformed pastel portrait on parchment.
The artist and the work
Peder Als (1726-1776) was one of our great Danish painters. In 1766 Als was appointed to the position of portrait and history painter for the Royal Court. In subsequent years he portrayed the nobility, among them Queen Juliane Marie (1729-1796) in a beautiful pastel painting done on parchment. The portrait has since been a part of the Royal Painting Collection at the National Gallery of Denmark.
Techniques, damage and impact
The painting has been mounted behind glass in a frame for many years. Over time, the parchment, which is very sensitive to relative humidity and heat, became detached from the stretcher on which it was mounted and developed severe deformations. The colour layer is pastel, which consists of pigments without a binder, which means that colour is only loosely attached to the support by the pressure with which it was applied. The technique makes the work particularly vulnerable to impact - especially touch - read more on this in A porous research project.
Click on the box to the right to see pictures and descriptions of the various stages of the restoration process →