Drama in a conservation studio

When the painting arrived to my studio it was tightly attached to its frame between a matte glass and a paperboard on which the canvas was glued.
1. problem: Three different areas of loose or actively flaking paint on lower left side.


2. problem: How to get the frame away because it was impossible to turn painting facedown for the loose paint flakes.

3. problem: How to get loose and flaking paint to reattach into its original place when the use of airflow was not possible for the paperboard, which prevented any kind of use of a suction table.

4. problem: How to protect the surface during the treatment.

5. problem: It became very soon obvious during the aqueous cleaning process that practically whole painting needed consolidation before cleaning, because paint got loose in tiny pieces everywhere.

1. and 3. solutions: A glass syringe with a silicone tube was tightly attach around the flaking area; warm liquide of light fish glue with alcohol was dropped between loose paint flakes. After awhile the syringe was laid over and I caused vacuum by sucking slowly air away through the tube. It worked well. This treatment was one of the last in the color fixing.

2. solution: I managed to get the frame away by working under the table, because the board was luckily fixed with tiny rhombus form nails. I removed them one by one when the frame was partly laid over the table edge by feeling with hands.

4. solution: I ordered a frame with three edges, two long ones and one short one, the fourth was missing. I covered the frame with a piece of Kapa-board. The frame’s measures matched well with the painting size. With the aid of the frame the painting was in safe from an uncontrolled movement of my hands or wires until consolidation treatments were done.

5. solution: I have to fix the whole paint surface with 2,5% fish glue with aid of Japanese paper and with warm spatula.


1. Removal of the frame.
2. Fixing of the paint with fish glue.
3. Special treatment of the flaking and loose paint areas with syringe and sucking.
4. Cleaning of the surface with 2% triammoniumcitrate in water.
5. Varnishing of the surface.
6. Restoration took place in spring 2012.