Go behind-the-scenes as we clean ‘Evening (Mt Coot-tha from Dutton Park)’


F.J. Martyn Roberts painting Evening (Mt Coot-tha from Dutton Park) 1898 is an important Brisbane landscape so a six month project carrying out a delicate conservation treatment to clean and restore this work was scheduled. Due to the aging process of the upper varnish layers, and the restoration treatment that had taken place before the painting came into the Gallery’s Collection, the work required careful removal of the aged, discoloured varnish layer and old restorations that has accumulated on the surface.

DIVE DEEPER: More conservation projects unveiled


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Cleaning the painting with small conservation tools and gel carefully allows the removal of the upper varnish layer without disturbing the original paint layers below, thus revealing the original colours and tonality of the painting. The cleaning took some weeks to complete, followed by the stabilisation of the paint layers – varnishing and the filling and retouching any losses in the composition.

Kate Wilson is Painting Conservator, QAGOMA

F.J. Martyn Roberts, England/Australia 1871-1963 / Evening (Mt Coot-tha from Dutton Park) 1898 / Oil on canvas / 74 x 125.1cm / Purchased 1997 with funds from M.I.M. Holdings Limited through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © Estate of F.J. Martyn Roberts

Cleaning Anthony Alder’s ‘Heron’s home’

Watch as the artist’s original colours are restored in Anthony Alder’s Heron’s home 1895 showing the full tonal range and sharpness of image. The varnish layer is removed using cotton swabs and a carefully-tailored solvent blend, revealing the artist’s original colours, and restoring the full tonal range and sharpness of image.

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