Meet our new Phoebus Fellow: Alexandra Taylor! All the way from New Zealand, Alexandra joined our conservation team last month. She will assist our conservators in various projects for the next three months.

Alexandra immediately started with the treatment of Jan Miel’s Figures Feasting at a Fair in Prati, outside the Walls of Rome, with the Basilica di San Pietro and Monte Mario beyond. This painting was commissioned by Marchese Tommaso Raggi (1595/6-1679) in Rome around 1650.

During treatment, varnish removal

‘The analysis and technical research which precede a conservation treatment really fascinate me! They are the ultimate way to get closer to the master and discover his materials and techniques. These are skills I would like to develop further. The Phoebus Foundation is strongly committed to these analyses, so it is a great opportunity for me to collaborate in the Phoebus studio for a few months. Thanks to infrared reflectography, for example, I discovered inscriptions and pentimenti in Jan Miel’s painting, which are barely visible with regular light and therefore much harder to understand!’

Pentimenti discoveries using regular light, edited in photoshop

‘The restoration treatment is not a piece of cake! Not only do we need to remove dark layers of varnish and overpaint, we also need to tackle the canvas completely. The painting will look so much more colourful and stable after the treatment!’

Curious about the final result of Alexandra’s work? Keep an eye on our website, newsletter, Instagram and Facebook!