Julia’s aim is to intervene as little as possible, undertaking conservation work only when absolutely necessary to prevent further deterioration. She will carefully consult you and assess what needs to be done, before drawing up a plan.
First, she will assess how much conservation work a painting will need by testing an area with white base tones, white being the most durable of pigments. This test determines how complex the cleaning will need to be. Sometimes, if the paint is so brittle and degraded, the original canvas may first need to be lined. This lining will help to stabilise the pigment, draw it back into the canvas and hold it in place. It will also ensure the canvas is strong enough to support the painting. Some paintings have to be re-lined two or three times.
Once the testing and lining are done (if necessary), the painting surface is ready for cleaning.