The Royal Portraits

Conservation of the Royal Portraits from Queen's Hall, State Parliament of Victoria

Description

In mid 2013, The Grimwade Centre conservators treated the Royal portraits from the Victorian State Parliament. These are full length portraits of Queen Victoria (mid-nineteenth Century, by William Corden after Franz Xaver Winterhalter) and Prince Albert (1896, by Gordon Coutts, also after Winterhalter), which preside over the ornate formal surrounds of Queen’s Hall in the Parliament building on Spring St.

Treatment

Both paintings underwent full cleaning and restoration, and the frames also required extensive bronze paint removal and re-moulding of ornaments. Watch a video of the restoration project here.

Treatment stages

Figure 1

Portrait of Queen Victoria, mid-nineteenth Century, by William Corden after Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 2.72 x 1.62 m, oil on canvas, Collection of the State Parliament of Victoria.

Figure 2

Portrait of Prince Albert, 1896, by Gordon Coutts, after Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 2.72 x 1.62 m, oil on canvas, Collection of the State Parliament of Victoria.

Figure 3

Detail of the removable frame ornaments, during cleaning and before cleaning.

Figure 4

Reinstalling the paintings from ground level to the balcony in Queen’s Hall, via a pulley system and scaffold.

Figure 5

Prince Albert, restored and reinstalled in the conserved frame in Queen's Hall.

Figure 6

Queen Victoria, restored and reinstalled in the conserved frame in Queen's Hall.

Figure 7

Discoloured varnish is cleaned from Queen Victoria's face during the conservation treatment.

Figure 8

Applying a new coat of varnish to Prince Albert during the conservation treatment.

Figure 9

Both portraits hanging on the balcony overlooking Queen's Hall, after treatment.