Over the last three days specialist conservators Gail and Henry have been carefully removing layers of discoloured varnish and dirt to reveal the true colours of the painting.
Both Henry and Gail believe that understanding the composition of the painting structure will greatly help them in deciding the most appropriate treatment to be carried out on the picture.
What was thought to be pale green turns out to be beautiful powder blue. What was once a dirty orange is bright gold.
Extra detail lost under the centuries of varnish is being revealed, in amazing colour such as the tiny face on the front of ST Appolonia’s dress and the delicate veil on her hair.
Technical analysis of the paint layers by Glasgow University Department of Technical Art History has identified pigments commonly used in the 15th and 16th centuries, as we had hoped to find.
Visitors have been enthralled by being able to see the conservation work in action:
“Wonderful to see such an amazing process” Susan Walker
“A painstaking venture but will be stunning once finished” C. R from Kinross
Property Manager, Wendy Purvis said: “I’ve been spell bound by the process which has revealed the original paint. How fascinating it is to watch conservators at work and learn about the process as it happens live. This is the sort of thing that would normally happen behind closed doors but to see it every day is a real privilege.”
Project Manager, Julie Bon added “It has been exciting to be involved in this unique project. There’s been a lot of hard work put into the preparation and it’s great to see the painting and the conservation work in action in full view of the visitors.”
Come and see Gail and Henry at work in the Chapel Royal at 4pm on the 4th of August. Photos and interviews will be available with conservators Gail and Henry, Wendy Purvis, Falkland Palace Property Manager and Julie Bon, Trust Conservator and project manager.