Kew Palace

Interior decoration (mid-17th / early 19th century), Kew Palace

Built in 1631 by a city merchant, Kew reflects the domestic life of successive generations of the royal family, especially that of George III, Queen Charlotte and their children. As part of a major programme of investigation and restoration of this royal palace, prior to its reopening in the summer of 2006, the painted walls/panelling of the second and third floors were surveyed. Essential information was recorded on scaled drawings of wall elevations. The survey provided essential information towards the development of an overall conservation strategy; identifying areas of deterioration which were liable to be affected by visitors and require immediate treatment and areas of lesser deterioration to be monitored.

In the course of the investigation of the interior decoration, a grisaille decoration was discovered beneath multiple layers of overpaint from the fireplace overmantle in the ground floor King's Library. The painstaking task of removing the overpaint was undertaken using a scalpel assisted by a binocular microscope and revealed part of the tantalising figure of a female.

In pictures

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A female figure revealed in the investigation Wall elevation showing condition