THE restoration of a one of Tatton Park’s most important paintings has begun – but not behind closed doors.
Visitors can witness conservation in action at the mansion this summer as Tatton Park embarks on a delicate project to conserve ‘The Cheshire Hunt’.
Oil paintings conservator and restorer Julia Dalzell will be carrying out the intricate work, which includes the removal of old varnishes and over paint and re-filling previously lost areas – bringing the 19th Century masterpiece back to its former glory.
Julia said: “I have been looking forward to working on this magnificent piece for some time, particularly as it will enable the visitors to engage with conservation and see firsthand the intricate work that is necessary to preserve a wonderful painting like this.”
‘The Cheshire Hunt’, painted by artist Henry Calvert, was completed in 1839 and depicts several Egerton family members taking part in a fox-hunt.
The painting was instigated by Wilbraham Egerton of Tatton (1781-1856) who had become Father of the Tarporley Hunt Club at the time.
It is the stately home’s largest painting, at almost 4 metres wide and 3 metres high, and usually hangs in the entrance hall of the mansion.
Vicky Rowbotham, Tatton Park learning and visitor services, said: “We are so pleased to be carrying out this exciting project during 2014 on such an important painting in the Tatton collection.
“We hope that our visitors who made the project possible will enjoy this unique opportunity to see ‘The Cheshire Hunt’ close-up, learn about conservation techniques and see the painting restored to its former glory.”
Tatton Park’s visitors contributed over £13,000 towards the project through the National Trust 2013 Raffle.
Visitors will be able to see Julia at work in the mansion initially every Tuesday and Friday until June 20, with the project continuing until the end of October. For full details visit tattonpark.org.uk.