BAPCR Talk: 'The Petworth Beauties'

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Thursday, 12 March, 2020 - 18:30

Art Workers’ Guild, 6 Queens’ Square, London, WC1N 3AT
Doors 6.30pm / Talk 7pm

Katya Belaia and Jim Dimond will present: "The Petworth Beauties"
In the Beauty Room at Petworth there is a series of six paintings by Michael Dahl. Known as the “Beauties”, they represent important ladies in the court of William III and Queen Anne. Originally painted as full lengths, they were altered in the 1830’s by “folding up their legs” in order to accommodate the introduction of Wellington commemorative scenes into the Beauty Room. As part of a project to return the Beauty Room back to its pre-1820’s appearance, and to enable the loan of two of the Beauties to the “British Baroque: Power & Illusion” exhibition at Tate Britain, a conservation project was undertaken to return them to their original format.

The talk will focus on the different aspects of the treatment – the return of the paintings to their full length as well as other considerations in returning the room back to its original Baroque appearance. Katya will speak about the history of the Beauties, the approach to deciding whether they should be unfolded for the Tate exhibition, and the implications that had in terms of returning the Beauty Room back to its earlier appearance. Jim will talk about the conservation treatment associated with unfolding them, the challenges and discoveries.

Katya Belaia combines her role of adviser on the conservation of paintings for the National Trust in the National Specialists department with that of a practicing freelance conservator-restorer. Her formal postgraduate conservation training was at the Courtauld Institute of Art from 2007 to 2010.

Jim Dimond is a freelance paintings conservator-restorer with over 30 years experience working in both public and private sectors.

Entry is free of charge to members of the BAPCR (but please email to let Gemma know that you will be attending), and £10 for non-members. Wine and soft drinks will be available to purchase before and after the talk.

Non-members can pay for tickets in advance by:
• Cheque (pounds sterling) – payable to the BAPCR and posted to: BAPCR, Rose Green, Broomham Lane, Whitesmith, East Sussex, BN8 6JQ
• BACS transfer – NatWest, Sort code: 53 50 33, Account number: 5300 0757

Please email Gemma Collins, BAPCR Secretary at with your name and email address details when you pay for your tickets.

It will be possible to join the BAPCR at the door.

Associate membership: £55 / Student membership: £20 (free for first year)

To book your place please email