Our venues
Our museums and galleries

Conservation of Gainsborough's 'Viscountess Folkestone'

painting of an old lady in a white dress with fabric draped across her shoulders, leaning on a column with green curtains behind her

The painting after conservation. 

Sudley House collection

Accession number WAG 229

The recent conservation treatment of Gainsborough's 'Viscountess Folkestone' during the refurbishment of Sudley House provided an ideal opportunity to examine the materials and technique of this remarkable portrait.

As well as identifying pigments and paint medium our study has revealed a radical change to the composition, altering not only the position of the sitter but also the setting.

Follow the links below to see each stage of the conservation process and the discoveries that were made. You can also zoom into the detail of the conserved painting for a closer look.