Ms. Sally Rosemary Higgs

Ms. Sally Rosemary Higgs

Conservation treatment of The Sword of Damocles by Antoine Dubost at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS Museum) in Mumbai

Student on the postgraduate diploma in the Conservation of Easel Paintings at the Courtauld Institute of Art

I was awarded a grant in order to live in Mumbai and work at the CSMVS Museum in Mumbai for 7 weeks. I worked on The Sword of Damocles by Antoine Dubost, as part of an ongoing collaborative project between the Courtauld Institute for Art and the CSMVS Museum. I gained valuable experience in painting conservation treatments such as removing old disfiguring retouching and varnishing large scale works. I collaborated with Indian conservators, learning new approaches and sharing ideas. . The project was a unique opportunity to work in a very different environment, and I was able to gain an appreciation of different methods and approaches. It allowed me to understand the impact of such a different climate and culture on conservation practices.

I am currently in the second year of my course in Easel Painting conservation. The experience I gained from working in Mumbai has increased my confidence in treating paintings and I gained the ability to make decisions independently and problem solve effectively. I also developed an interest in Asian paintings, and hope to develop this further over the summer, with an internship in an Asian Art Conservation studio in the US.

My work on The Sword of Damocles at the CSMVS will be included in a publication describing the full conservation treatment and technical analysis of the painting, which will be produced after the conservation treatment of the painting is completed.