Kristina Mandy

Kristina Mandy

The 'Sword of Damocles' conservation treatment project.

Third-year student, Postgraduate Diploma in the Conservation of Easel Paintings, Courtauld Institute of Art

The Nehru travel award was for a placement on a paintings conservation project at the Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSVMS) Museum in Mumbai, India.

During the placement I treated an oil painting on canvas titled The Sword of Damocles by Antoine Dubost. I participated in this treatment with my classmate Pearl O'Sullivan, two Courtauld Institute of Art graduates Harriet Pearson and Mark Coombs, and under the supervision of senior conservator Anupam Sah and Professor Aviva Burnstock.

Images shown here illustrate the painting after lining and stretching, myself and Pearl working on removing the old lining canvas, myself participating in the lining process, and myself removing glue residues from the reverse of the painting canvas.

After the work placement, the lining of the painting was complete. Soon after leaving Mumbai, the painting was stretched onto its new stretcher. Currently it is undergoing retouching at the CSMVS Museum.

Over the course of the work placement, I learned a great deal about the structural treatment of canvas paintings and participated in my first de-lining and re-lining of a painting. This work experience was a wonderful way to increase my practical skills as well as consider the different circumstances around art conservation in India. I also really enjoyed the opportunity the travel around the country and learn more about different Indian cities and the culture. The work experience I gained in this placement will help me with future canvas structural treatments in the future and will serve me well in my career as a paintings conservator.