Restoration Intern Kent's Creation

20 August 2015

This William Kent ceiling was restored between November 2014 and April 2015. The design consisted of two parts. The coving is an exquisite example of trompe d’oeil, or trick of the eye, where the design, painted flat onto plaster, is made to look like a three-dimensional relief. The three central panels are painted on canvas and these were showing signs of age and fragility. The coving was cleaned in-situ, and now the gold mosaic background beautifully reflects candlelight. The three canvases were removed and taken off-site to be cleaned, strengthened and restored where necessary.

The design depicts Viscount Cobham being presented a sword by Mars, god of war. Mars points to a portrait of King William III suggesting that this is a royally ordained recognition of his military prowess.