When a conservator gets art works like the above miniature painting, it is not just the damages that interest him/her, it is also the history/mythology and story depicted in the painting that attracts the conservator. Story/history/mythology apart from the technique and place in timeline/age, would scale the importance of the painting.
We study a painting for following aspects before going for actual conservation:
- Story/interpretation /mythological importance/historical importance
- Technique of the painting
- Material used in painting
- Damages in the painting’s anatomy and surface.
- Intrinsic Deteriorating factors
- Environmental and human deteriorating factors
- Extent of intervention required
Following are only some of the damages observed and some of the conservation interventions required:
This painting required basic surface cleaning, flattening and anti microbial treatment.
Our conservation team did following treatments before final display in the miniature gallery:
- Dry cleaning with soft brush on the front as well as the back.
- Sellotape pasted in previous restorations was removed with the help of organic solvents. Brown tapes were also removed from the back.
- The residual adhesives of sellotape and brown tape were removed with the help of appropriate solvents.
- Since there were colonies of fungi/mold spread throughout the back, it requited cleaning with ethanol. Front was also cleaned carefully with ethanol- de-ionized water mixture.
- The miniature must have been folded in past as it was evident from the fold marks and extensive flaking of the thick paint layer along that area. This flaking was fixed with a consolidant.