Stage 1 - Structural treatment, the front of the painting

William Etty's the Sirens and Ulysses had been deteriorating for nearly 200 years. William Etty’s experimental technique meant the picture began to fall apart almost as soon as it was painted. When conservation staff examined it in 2003, they realised that if nothing was done, Etty’s masterpiece would soon be beyond repair.

With funding from The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and Axa Art Insurance, the campaign to rescue The Sirens and Ulysses was launched. In 2006 gallery space was converted into a public conservation studio and for the next two years visitors were able to watch the painstaking restoration process. Now fully restored and back in its original frame, the painting is on permanent display at Manchester Art Gallery

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