Lawrens Alma-Tadema, Lawrens Alma-Tadema

Author Lawrens Alma-Tadema
Title Under the Roof of Blue Lonian weather...
School Great Britain
Date 1901
Material paper
Size 680х1030(mm) framed, 363х841 (mm)
Conservator(s) Maria Baranova
Workshop Paper Сonservation

In 1901, the British artist Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912) first exhibited his painting 'Under the Roof of Blue Lonian weather...' at the Royal Academy in London. The poetic title of the canvas is borrowed from P.B. Shelley's poem 'Letter to Mary Gisborne' (1820), which referred to his memories of the days he spent in Italy. The work was so well received by the British public that Alma-Tadema solicited its reproduction by printing. The first ten prints were hand-painted and framed in custom-carved oak frames based on his designs. In 2020, one of these early prints, in the original frame, was acquired into the collection of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts.
It is important to note that in Russian museum and private collections there are only a few works by Sir Laurence Alma-Tadema. The work in question has not only artistic but also historical value. Its presence in the collection of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts is a remarkable addition to the collection of Victorian prints.
The work, over 120 years old, is currently undergoing treatments. The previous owners of the piece, unfortunately, did not care about its preservation. For decades the work has hung on the wall in one of the rooms of their Moscow flat exposed to the light. The constant exposure to sunlight has caused the paper to yellow considerably, leaving it dirty and damaged in many ways. The discoloration of the paper and blackened whitewashing have greatly changed the overall colour scheme of the piece. In fact, the work has lost its formerly exquisite colouring based on combinations of blue, white and light gray tones. The brownish-yellow tone of the paper makes the image less clear and expressive. When the sheet was removed from its frame, it was found to be severely deformed. When carrying out the treatments, account was taken of the peculiarities of this work, including its non-water resistance and the general weakening of the paint layer. In this regard, a dry mechanical cleaning method was applied. All stages of the treatments were carried out taking into account the nature of the damage.
The wooden carved frame, has also suffered damage. It shows numerous chips with small losses, abrasions and scratches. The frame should be mentioned separately. It is made of four oak boards polished, primed and painted. The top part of the frame is decorated with the name of the work in English. The side elements are in the form of pilasters. The frame harmoniously complements and enhances the merits of the work.
The treatments made it possible to recover its former splendour, preserving the original design of the work and the frame in its entirety.

The print taken out of its frame before conservation

Back before conservation

Mechanical cleaning


Dust removal

Consolidating the original backing