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62NADFAS REVIEW / AUTUMN the pastTwo magnificent Tudor paintings by Sussex artist Lambert Barnard, housed in Chichester Cathedral,recently underwent extensive conservation to restore them to their former glory. Hamilton Kerr Institute'sAlison Stockdescribes the processIn the early part of this year, theHamilton Kerr Institute, University ofCambridge, undertook the conservationof two large panel paintings in ChichesterCathedral. These are very significantworks of art, painted on the cusp of theEnglish Reformation, depicting narrativescenes of which Henry VIII and thepatron Bishop Sherburne are theprincipal figures. They include roundelsdepicting the kings of England fromWilliam I to Edward VI, and the bishopsof Selsey and Chichester from c680ADto 1536. The connection to Chichesterlies not only with the subject matter, butalso with their creator, as they werepainted by local artist Lambert Barnard(d1567/8) and his son.The conservation of these paintingshad become extremely urgent as thepaint was tenting and flaking. Withoutimmediate attention they would havecontinued to deteriorate with irrevocableconsequences. Each painting measures4m x 10m, consisting of 80-100 woodenboards each, and as such their size wasone of the greatest challenges (approx.the same surface area as 800 NADFASReviews). Panel paintings of this magnitudeare rare, and their fragility meant that thework was carried out in situ. The treatment involved re-attachingand consolidating the fragile paint, using

Above:ConservatorChristineKimbriel workson TheCharterPaintingsRight:Bravingever-higherscaffolding,Lucy Wrapsonconserves TheCatalogus ofBishopsin thenorth transeptLAMBERT BARNARD CONSERVATIONNADFAS REVIEW / AUTUMN 201163an acrylic adhesive developed for theconservation of polychrome surfaces inchurches, and a temperature controlledhot spatula. The undertaking of such alarge consolidation treatment is not acommon occurrence, and therefore itwas necessary to source more hotspatulas from Willard ConservationEquipment Engineers who send theirequipment worldwide, but are basedlocally in Chichester. It seemed fittingthat these paintings created by a localman in the 16th century, wereconserved 500 years later usingconservation equipment produced justaround the corner from where the artistprobably once lived.Throughout the project 13 differentconservators were involved, and it was a privilege for us all to work within thesetting of such a beautiful cathedral,often against the backdrop of organ and choir rehearsals. Working in situinevitably poses challenges, the firstbeing that the two paintings are situatedwithin different transepts of thecathedral, and both required scaffolding.As the weeks went by, the scaffoldingwas raised to higher levels, andeveryone became very well practised atpassing equipment up and down theever-lengthening ladder, as well asbetween the two transepts. In the southtransept we enjoyed working alongsidethe beautiful 19th-century stained glass window, but quickly invested inhead-torches to use on the darkest ofwinter days, otherwise three handswould have been necessary to carry out the delicate treatment!It was heartening to see the amountof interest this project inspired. Thescaffolding for The Charter Paintingswas designed with a viewing gallery sothat members of the public could seethe conservation taking place, andseveral Q&A sessions were held for thevisitors. The conservators had manyquestions of their own which wereexplored through technical analysis.These paintings have seen manychanges and restorations throughouthistory (including a large overpaintingcampaign in the 18th century, which is largely what we are looking at now), and in collaboration with arthistorian Karen Coke, also based locally, we have a greater understandingof their complexity. There is still more information to begleaned about these rare and importantworks of art; however, we are currentlyvery satisfied to see the fragile paintsecured. The dedication of the cathedralcustodians to provide the best care andprotection for the paintings into thefuture was all part of a very positivecompletion of the project. NADFAS LOCAL PARTNERSHIPPROJECTSSocieties from Sussex Area have struckup a rewarding connection withChichester Cathedral as part of adeveloping NADFAS initiative forpartnership arrangements at local level.Kate Pittom, Partnership IntelligenceOfficer for NADFAS, explained: "The idea is to create a new kind ofrelationship which is of mutual benefit to the organisations and membersinvolved -this is not about Societies justgiving their time in volunteering roles." Sussex Area has donated over £3,000towards the conservation of the uniqueLambert Barnard Tudor paintings in theCathedral and in return, Societies havebenefitted from talks given by the TrustDirector and visits to see theconservation process in situ. TheCathedral staff are now offeringmembers a Day of Special Interest atthe Cathedral on 28 November for avery modest charge.Other well established partnershiparrangements in Sussex include WestDean College, Pallant House Gallery andGoodwood House. For more informationon developing Local Partnershipschemes, please contact Kate images: © Hamilton Kerr Institute, University of Cambridge