Raby Castle,

County Durham

The Historic Houses Foundation (then Heritage Conservation Trust) supported the restoration of A Group of Musicians (Venetian School, after Veronese). The work was undertaken by Jim Devenport and Rory Johnson of the Haughton Studio, Northumberland.

Because of the size of the painting, scaffolding needed to be used to inspect it, and then remove the painting from the wall.  The painting was lowered using a block and tackle and rested on foam blocks. Then it was removed from its frame, wrapped and transported to the conservation studio.


After being photographed, the painting was laid face down for treatment. Dirt was removed from the back before it was turned face up on two large tables. Various tests were carried out, and flaking paint was consolidated. Old discoloured retouchings and overpainting were removed.


The painting was carefully treated for distortions at different parts of the canvas. Then, once losses and damages were treated and additional retouching carried out, new spray varnish was applied. Once the work had been done, the painting was wrapped again for transportation back to Raby Castle.

At Raby, the painting was reunited with its frame and re-hung.  The entire process was fully documented, and photography used at every step of the way. A new sign now tells visitors about the work of the HHF in funding conservation such as this.