Five 18th-Century paintings at Bath’s Mineral Water Hospital are being given some TLC before they, staff and services transfer to the new Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) and Brownsword Therapies Centre at the Royal United Hospital (RUH) Bath later this year.
In a “delicate and careful operation”, specialist artwork removers have lifted them from the walls ready for expert conservation and restoration over the next few months.
One is the trust’s best-known and most treasured painting of Dr Oliver and Mr Pierce by the artist WT Hoare.
The conservation treatment will be carried out by accredited paintings conservator and technical art historian, Sarah Cove, who is based in Cornwall.
It involves cleaning the oil paint and canvas, repairing the frames and fitting them with a museum grade UV acrylic glazing. The glazing will protect them from UV light and pollutants.
A trust spokesperson said: “The works will be installed in the new RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies Centre in late September.
“It means patients, visitors and staff can continue to experience and enjoy the rich cultural heritage of our city’s medical past.”
Hetty Dupays, RUH art and design manager, said: “It’s always nerve-wracking to seesuch valuable and treasured paintings being handled, but our expert removers did a great job.
“The five paintings are hugely important historically and aesthetically.
“It’s wonderful that they will be restored, conserved and improved and given a new home at our new therapies centre.”