Portrait of King Gustavus Adolphus II of Sweden

17th century, Dutch school

Oil on panel made of three panels joined vertically

Client: National Trust, Erddig

After carrying out a survey of the condition of the painting collection at Erddig, a number of priority paintings were treated either in situ or at the studio. This portrait of Gustavus Adolphus was among the paintings treated. Tensions in the panel support caused by a later addition of three cross battens fixed to the back of the panel was causing flaking in the paint along the joins. These cross bars were removed and the panels were re-joined without any fixings on the back, allowing the joined panel to regain its natural curvature. The frame was adapted with Plastazote® foam to accommodate the shape of the panel. The conservation treatment also included the removal of a discoloured non-original varnish layer and later overpaint, consolidating loose and flaking paint, and filling and retouching old losses.

Front before treatmentPhoto credit: National Trust
Re-gluing panelsPhoto credit: National Trust
Front after re-joining panels, before retouching old lossesPhoto credit: National Trust
Front after treatment and final varnishPhoto credit: National Trust
Back before treatment showing later cross battens fixed to back of panelPhoto credit: National Trust
Back after treatmentPhoto credit: National Trust