Following an appeal in Overseas journal, donations were received to begin the restoration of ROSL's collection of portraiture. First to receive the makeover treatment was Lord Mountbatten, whose portrait was removed in August for the process to begin.
At the time, the restorer said:
There is a significant area of un-stable paint, the adhesion between the paint and ground layers and the support is compromised across the lower half of the painting. There are large blisters of raised and vulnerable paint layers in the lower left corner. There also appears to be a history of such flaking as in ultra violet examination there are relatively large 'brushily’ applied areas of dark over-paint present in the sitter’s black coat.
There is a significant scratch to the sitter’s left cuff and smaller minor scratches at the lower edge. There is a slightly fluorescing varnish layer present and a noticeable layer of surface dirt and fly spotting.
With work now well underway, the restorer has sent photos of the progress being made on rectifying these areas of concern. Using specialist equipment, the most damaged areas of paint at the bottom of the portrait are the first to receive attention.
There will also be an opportunity to visit the restorer's studio in the coming weeks to see the process first-hand. Watch this space.