18th century Portrait of a Lady

Circle of Allan Ramsay.
Portrait of a Lady
c.1750
Oil on canvas
38 x 30 inches

Courtesy of Roy Precious Antiques & Fine Art

The painting had been heavily restored in the past, disguising extensive areas of damaged and torn canvas. All areas of the sitters face had been overpainted, concealing the original, quality paint layer beneath. The varnish layer was exceptionally resistant to solvents and probably of a shellac or cellulose resin type. The old overpaint was very hard and also resistant to removal, using solvents. 

Removal of the overpainted and overfilled areas was carried out using a combination of solvents to soften the varnish and then manual removal using a scalpel. Once re-lined the final cleaning was carried out and the painting revarnished using a traditional picture varnish. After filling and texturing of the losses, the painting was retouched using a tempera medium and finely ground pigments. The final glazes were applied using a varnish medium and finely ground pigments.