Various Paintings

Valentine has extensive experience in the conservation and restoration of Modern British Art particularly through her work with the Imperial War Museum and Crane Kalman Gallery. These paintings are coming to an age where they require treatment.

Lowry’s paintings are now of an age where they are not only dirty but they have begun to crack or delaminate.

The image below shows a cleaning test highlighting how very dirty some of his paintings have become. The surface dirt was removed to reveal the richness of colours used by Lowry.

This image shows a typical ‘spider-web’ crack which becomes evident some time after the canvas has suffered an impact and is clearly shown with strong raking light. The paint and canvas were relaxed so it was visually less disturbing.


The delamintation in Lowry’s paintings has now been determined to be caused by metal soap formations migrating from the lower paint layer to the upper layers and thus breaking the bond between the two layers.

This image shows the top layer of paint being pushed off by the metal soaps ‘bubbling up’ through the ground layer below it:
metal soap pushing

For more information on this phenomenon please read more here

Other problems with Lowry’s paintings include erruption of medium from lower layers:
Medium eruption