York Art Gallery

Two tiled panels inset into the façade of Grade II listed York Art Gallery were cleaned, conserved and retouched.

  • Leonardo before treatment

    Leonardo before treatment

  • Michaelangelo before treatment

    Michaelangelo before treatment

  • Michaelangelo after retouching

    Michaelangelo after retouching

York Art Gallery, constructed in 1879 in the historic centre of York and later extended has two tiled panels inset at each corner of the south-east facade, both of which had suffered significant deterioration over time.

We were commissioned to carry out conservation work to these two tiled panels, entitled ’The Death of Leonardo da Vinci’ and ‘Michelangelo shows his statue of Moses’. The panels suffered from loss of the detail to the painted scenes, as well as being covered in bleached out 'splashes'. The tiles had further suffered from dirt and pollutant deposits on the surface. 

We approached the conservation of these tiles by:

  • Cleaning the panels with gentle brushing and light wet cleaning 
  • Retouching the missing detail in order for the panels to be read as originally intended with acrylic paint colour matched to the original
  • Reinstating the missing inscription using stencils copied from existing lettering 
  • Coating the tiles with microcrystalline wax to protect the surface from further weathering