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Condition before treatment

painting of a Renaissance scene with crowds watching a preacher in a courtyard

Francesco di Giorgio's 'St Bernardino Preaching' before conservation. Zoom into the detail of this image.

Before commencing any conservation treatment, a painting is examined and photographed in detail.

There is no written record of the painting’s condition until 1964 when it was treated for mould damage and this record consists of one sentence only.

The painting had been transferred from its original poplar panel to canvas, possibly around the time when it was sold to William Roscoe in the early 19th century. By 1928 a catalogue photograph shows evident discolouration of the restoration around the edges and this would fit with a treatment date nearly 100 years earlier.

When examined in 2005 for the proposed loan to London the paint layers appeared sharply raised in places, several small losses appeared recent and the overall stability of the paint layers was uncertain. The extreme thickness of the varnish prevented effective treatment of any flaking paint and the discolouration of both varnish and old restoration was at a level which affected the legibility of the image.

Follow the links below to find out how the painting was examined under raking and ultra violet light.