Conserving our wall paintings

Conservator looking at Shugborough's horizontal wall painting with a torch

Throughout 2019 we will be conserving all eight wall paintings in the Room of Imaginary Landscapes.  Join us on our journey to conserve and unveil the secrets of these beautiful paintings.

Latest updates

29 Jan 19

Conservation techniques

Detailed testing last year established the best materials and methods to conserve the paintings, using an adhesive to soften and reattach the flaking paint, with the help of a tiny heated spatula. It’s a daunting task on such large paintings - six of them are nearly three metres high with the largest two being over three and a half metres wide.

Conservator using a heated spatula to reattach flaking paint

28 Jan 19

Specialist conservators start their work

Specialist conservators begin their work on one of the wall paintings. They will be cleaning and consolidating the flaking paint.

Conservators and their equipment at Shugborough

21 Jan 19

Recent discoveries

Initial inspections have shown that over the last 50 years, the paintings have already gone through several phases of conservation. The retouching has been carried out in a range of media including oil, acrylic and casein paint. Overpainting had caused darkening of the canvas, especially in the sky which was has been reduced to a dirty green colour from the original bright blue.

One of the wall paintings at Shugborough