Frame for A Couple Represented as Ulysses and Penelope, 1668 by
Jan de Bray (Dutch, 1627–1697)
Wood, gesso and gold leaf frame
Gift of the Charter Collectors 1975.24
While the de Bray canvas is being restored, it is our hope that the frame can be treated at the same time. This carved-wood gilded period frame is in poor condition and requires major treatment.
There is extensive insect damage throughout, leaving areas of the decorative surface in a state of extreme fragility. There are a number of old repairs, and perhaps most unfortunately, the application of a clear varnish layer has consolidated—or “stuck” the insect remains to the surface of the frame. Fingerprints in this varnish layer indicate that it was handled before the varnish was dry.
The goal of the treatment is to improve the overall stability of the severely insect-damaged areas, particularly on the bottom rail. The recent varnish, along with its fingerprints and insect remains, will be removed. A full surface cleaning will then take place, and major areas of loss will be refilled and toned with a combination of gold leaf and pigment.
This is an expensive treatment, but absolutely necessary in order to preserve this painting for decades to come.