Tag: Paper conservation

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Still painting like Constable

Palette knife effects in the sky © S.Connor

Humbled by my last feeble attempts at painting like Constable (here), I began work on a substantially scaled down version of Constable’s Full scale study for the Haywain. I prepared a small canvas by stretching commercially primed canvas – linen, with a white ground, that you can buy by the metre. I stretched it around […]

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Painting like Constable

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Having prepared some Constable style paper boards with Sophie Connor a little while back (read about it here), I faced the daunting prospect of trying to paint like Constable. To try to make this a bit easier I based my sketch on a painting by Constable that I had recently examined, Buildings on Rising Ground near […]

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Painting by Numbers?: An 18th Century Flower Show

Ferdinand Bauer, Iris Germanicus, watercolour on paper (MS. Sherard 245/70) © Bodleian Library, University of Oxford 2015

As the Chelsea Flower Show draws to a conclusion tomorrow, and the masses return to their own gardens inspired, it’s worth looking back to the 18th century, to the golden age of botanical exploration and to an artist who was arguably the finest botanical painter in history – Ferdinand Bauer –  and how expertise at […]

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Making a ‘Constable’

Applying the red-brown oil ground. You can already see how the paper is absorbing the oil where there is no sizing.

  This week I’ve been working with Clare, the Senior Paintings Conservator, to make some Constable-style pasteboards (sheets of paper glued together) for a display to go in the Paintings gallery. After several weeks of reading up on it (for example in the essays referenced here), looking at examples of Constable’s works on paper, and […]

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Time capsules, finding the unexpected in buildings and objects. Part 2

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The secret parcel and other discoveries from the Weston Cast Court. In my previous post I described some of the surprising items we found in the museum’s Medieval & Renaissance and British Sculpture galleries. The things that we found were type of messages from the past left by the people who worked in the museum […]

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When you don’t have the right tool for the job…

Brush after modification

…make one! I was working on removing dust from a theatre set model while the studio was quiet during the gap between Christmas and New Year. It was mostly straightforward, but there was one balcony that I just couldn’t get to with my straight brushes – every point of access I tried only allowed me […]

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Constable sketches up close and personal

Swirls of colour under the micoscopeshows Constable's alla prima technique. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Our dynamic Paintings Conservation interns, Arabella and Morgan have been lucky enough to work on some of our Constable oil sketches this week for the upcoming Constable: Making of a Master exhibition. We’ve posted recently on our discovery of an unknown Constable sketch that was hidden by an old lining, so of course preparing the rest of the sketches for exhibition gave Arabella and Morgan another […]

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Analysing Chinese Export Paintings

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The V&A’s Conservation Science department has been working on a collection of Chinese export paintings, looking closely at the materials that the artists used and trying to uncover the secrets of an important part of the history of Britain in China. Sonia Bellesia, former intern in the Conservation Science section explains more… Originally sold as souvenirs to Western merchants […]

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