Portrait of The Hon. Dame Quentin Bryce

PROJECT DATE : 2016
project
Portrait of The Hon. Dame Quentin Bryce
client
Department of Parliamentary Services
services
Paintings Conservation

Overview

This portrait of Australia’s Governor-General from 2008-2014 – the Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO – was painted at the end of her term by acclaimed portraitist Ralph Heimans (b.1970). It was commissioned for the Historic Memorials Collection by Australian Parliament House in Canberra, where it is currently on public display.

Condition

On arrival at ICS, the painting was in a fairly good and stable condition. However, several losses were noted along the top painted edge of the stretcher and a considerable amount of dust and fibres were found on the surface. The fibres were believed to have come from the carpet in the room where the painting had been displayed. There was also some scuffing and losses to the painted surface which needed to be addressed.

Treatment

The main purpose of this treatment was to varnish the painting. It had not yet been varnished as the paint needed to be completely dry beforehand. The treatment was designed to address the several issues outlined above, so that the piece could be varnished in line with the artist’s intentions. Treatment included:

  • Carrying out compatibility/solubility tests
  • Removing the artwork from its frame
  • Brush-vacuuming the artwork to remove any surface dirt present
  • Cleaning the artwork using an aqueous solution
  • Consolidating and retouching losses
  • Spray-varnishing the artwork
  • Reinstalling the artwork in its frame and travelling crate

project
Portrait of The Hon. Dame Quentin Bryce
client
Department of Parliamentary Services
services
Paintings Conservation
Before treatment – detail showing surface dust and fibres
After Treatment

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