Why and How?
The three works hung nearest to the entrance of the Knights Hall; which is why they avoided being burnt in contrast to the rest of the hall decorations. Some of the old damages in the canvases are likely to originate from the rapid evacuation of the paintings out of the burning castle in 1794.
When the works were included in the exhibition Nicolai Abildgaard. Revolution Embodied, the Gallery’s conservation staff noted the aesthetic short-comings of the paintings’ condition. Darkened restorations and yellowing varnish blighted the paintings, and several instances of old, unrestored damage to the pigments and canvases were quite obvious.
During treatment, conservators will remove the discoloured varnish, repaired discoloured retouchings and reconstruct missing parts so they are not visible to the naked eye.
Concurrently, and as part of a larger research project on Abildgaard's use of materials and technology, conservators will also conduct a series of technical studies of the three works.