Conservation in Action: The Triumph of the Winter Queen, January 2011

Treatment of The Triumph of the Winter Queen: Allegory of the Just, dated 1636, by Gerrit van Honthorst (Dutch, 1590–1656):
January 2011

The first challenge is to prepare the painting. Its immense size means that it must enter (and leave) the studio rolled on a large tube. The painting is carried through the Linde Family Wing and up the Huntington Entrance staircase into the second floor gallery.

After unrolling the painting, conservators assemble the wooden stretcher and mount the canvas back on with staples through linen twill tape. With the painting again upright, the protective tissue-paper facing is removed.

Preparations for the cleaning phase of the treatment may now begin. Cleaning in this context means removing the layers of dirt, old darkened varnish, and in some areas old discolored repaints from the surface of the painting. Cleaning tests will be conducted on selected areas to determine the best method for effective removal of the varnish that will also allow for maximum control.

See next update.