Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Tuesday, Jul 19, 2005
Front Page |
Tamil Nadu |
Andhra Pradesh |
New Delhi |
Other States |
Advts: Classifieds | Employment |
SAVING TREASURES: A file photo of the restoration work in progress on a Raja Ravi Varma painting at Sree Chithra Art Gallery in Thiruvananthapuram.
The second phase of the restoration of Ravi Varma paintings at the Sri Chithra Art Gallery would begin soon.
In the first phase of the Rs.23-lakh project, eight paintings were restored. These include the painting depicting the Udaipur Lake Palace done in 1901, that of Travancore queen Sethu Lakshmi Bai and a portrait of Prince Raja Raja Varma. Four of the restored paintings were done on boards and the rest, on canvas.
The team of specialists associated with the National Museum, New Delhi is expected to arrive at the Museum, here, in a fortnight to re-commence the project work. In all, 43 Ravi Varma paintings will be restored.
The restoration work consists of two parts. Initially, the damages sustained by the boards or canvases are rectified as far as possible. For instance, the work on the queen's painting done in 1885 proved particularly cumbersome as over the years it had been refurbished 87 times on different spots.
As no modern methods were available during those years, the restorations often caused the painting to deteriorate much more than did the passage of time. At many areas of the painting where damages were noticed, pieces of canvas were stuck on the backside and the front painted over. The present restoration work involved a painstaking removal of such pieces of canvas from the painting that was the only one in the gallery to sport the signature, ` Ravi Varma Coil Thampuran,'
The second part of the restoration work consists of recreating the original tone of the colours used in the paintings. Ravi Varma used to give a coat of varnish to his works to try and preserve them.
As the years passed, however, this coat of varnish deteriorated causing the painting to lose it original colour-tone. As the team from the National Museum removed the coating of varnish, faint indications of the original colours began to re-emerge. Then, with a mixture of inorganic `Class-A pigments' and stable organic pigments, the original tones of the colours were recreated so as to resemble as closely as possible what would have been the original shades. The team leader, Sreekumar Menon, had told The Hindu in November 2004, during the first phase of the project, that this `curative restoration' was completely reversible.
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |