Frame on Interior of Santa Sophia, Constantinople, 1891 by John Singer Sargent (American, 1856-1925)
Wood, gesso, gold leaf, paint
Purchase, Museum Art Fund 1960.5

How much will it cost? $5,300


This gilded, carved wooden period frame requires a lot of help. The Sargent is a fabulous painting; it should be housed in a frame whose appearance is worthy. Overall, the frame is in poor condition. The entire surface has darkened from a discolored, aged coating, and a heavy layer of dirt and grime. There are numerous areas of losses, exposing the bare wood and gesso. The surface is actively flaking and brittle, and most unfortunately, the losses appear to be recent. There is extensive evidence of past attempts at repair, and the frame is coated with excessive overpaint. The frame is highly susceptible to further loss, and needs to be handled with great care.

The goal of treatment is to stabilize actively flaking gesso, remove a thick layer of dirt, grime, and old excess overpaint, and visually improve old repairs. Once this is accomplished, a protective wax coating will be applied to the entire frame. A cleaning test was carried out, which revealed a completely intact bright gold surface.