The conservation of Daniel Maclise's monumental wall paintings, 'Trafalgar' and 'Waterloo', has been one of the largest carried out in Parliament's history, using highly innovative techniques.
Housed in the impressive Grade-1 listed Royal Gallery, the paintings each measure around 50sq metres and are a testament to Maclise's formidable skill as an artist. Painted between 1859 and 1866 in the newly-imported waterglass technique, both have a long history of restoration of varied quality.
The project team used cutting edge technology, including UV imaging and documentation techniques, to complete the conservation programme. Water cleaning, coating reduction and crack repairs were all completed in 2019, with improved brightness and colour quality for both paintings.
With conservation now complete, our Heritage Collections team can continue to safeguard the future of a valuable heritage asset of international significance, and allow them to be enjoyed.
Watch the conservation in action
If you want to learn more about this fascinating work, come behind the scenes with us and find out about the different stages of the project with these videos of the conservation work in progress.
- Part 1
- Part 2
- Part 3
- Part 4
Commenting on the nomination Lord Fowler, the Lord Speaker, said:
“The care and conservation of these important artworks is a responsibility we take very seriously so they will be available for future generations to enjoy and admire.
“This project has been an innovative and collaborative effort, undertaken on open view in the Royal Gallery allowing us all to see the conservation in action. I am delighted the work of all those involved has been recognised by this shortlisting. I would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Baroness Maddock who sadly passed away recently. As chair of my advisory panel on art she played an important role in supporting this fantastic project. She will be sadly missed by us all.”
Image Credit: Copyright Jessica Taylor/UK Parliament