skip to primary navigationskip to content

HKI Publications

HKI Bulletin Number 6

Published 2016

This volume is the sixth in the biennial publication which presents the recent research of past and present staff and students (including early career interns) of the Hamilton Kerr Institute in the conservation, structure, materials and history of paintings.

The Bulletin is published in an important anniversary year for both the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Hamilton Kerr Institute, celebrating 200 and 40 years since their respective foundations.

This Bulletin includes articles on:

  • Thomas Gainsborough as a copyist;
  • The Gainsborough's House paint bladders: tin-based mordants and the attribution of artists' materials;
  • Daniël Seghers, phoenix of flower-painters;
  • Judgement and speculation: an appraisal of the Middle Temple's 'Judgement of Solomon';
  • A note on the use of the purple pigment fluorite on 'The Man in Red';
  • All that is gold does not glitter: a technical, historical and iconographical study of the central panel of the Great Chamber fireplace, Charterhouse, London and the figure of Rowland Buckett;
  • 'Titian's Mistress' at Apsley House and the painting beneath;
  • A technical study of Sir Joshua Reynolds' 'Portrait of Anne Liddell, Duchess of Grafton, 1757-59';
  • On the unorthodox origin and Byzantine journey of the Lavenham 'Madonna';
  • Forty years of student projects as waymarks on the professional path. 

Available from Archetype Publications

Click on the image in the right-hand navigation to read / download an electronic version.


HKI Bulletin 6

HKI Bulletin Number 5

Published 2014 

The fifth Bulletin includes articles on:

  • Contextual discussion and preliminary technical investigation of selected portraits from Auschwitz Concentration Camp
  • Sir Peter Paul Rubens' 'Don Rodrigo Calderón on Horseback'
  • A re-evaluation of 'The Battle of Nördlingen' by Jan van den Hoecke';
  • The portraits of Philiip II of Spain: a comparative study;
  • A painting by Titian from the Spanish Royal Collection at Apsley House, London;
  • A technical study of 'Rebecca and Eliezer at the Well', a copy after Nicolas Poussin;
  • The changing faces of Queen Elizabeth I: findings during the conservation treatment of the Eton college sieve portrait;
  • The tools of his trade: the relationship between John Frederick Lewis (1804-1876) and Charles Roberson & Company;
  • Awareness and action: an introduction to emergency remedial treatment of water-damaged paintings on canvas through a case study of a 'Portrait of Sir Thomas Savage' by Cornelius Johnson;
  • A study of three paintings by George Gower;
  • Rolling 'The Island I'.

Available from Archetype Publications 

HKI Bulletin 5



HKI Bulletin Number 4

Published 2013

The forth Bulletin includes articles on:

  • Conservation and technical study of Siciolante da Sermoneta's ' Deposition of Christ', from King's College Chapel, Cambridge;
  • Treatment of the 'Triple Portrait of John Lacy' by John Michael Wright;
  • East Anglian medieval church screens: a brief guide to their physical history;
  • Notes on the technique of Eugène Boudin;
  • In search of a nose for Anne of Cleves: on the restoration of a sixteenth-century portrait and a reassessment of the sitter's identity as Henry VIII's German bridge;
  • The winter scenes of Abraham Hondius: 'A Picture of Thames in Ye Great Frost';
  • Lombardy, Leonardo and a long-lost Piazza: conservation, technical study and an alternative attribution for a sixteenth-century 'Virgin and Child';
  • Processes and pigment recipes: azurite.

Available from Archetype Publications

HKI Bulletin 4



HKI Bulletin Number 3

Published in 2000

The third Bulletin includes articles on:

  • The Santa Marina retable from Mayorga, attributed to the Master of Palanquinos (c.1490);
  • The effects of reinforcements on the preservation of paintings on wood panel: introduction and results of research on unreinforced panels;
  • Consensus in the classification of craquelure;
  • The Upton House Saenredam: conservation and technique;
  • The Castle Ashby Holy Family: a technical investigation and comparison with the technique of Sebastiano del Piombo;
  • "Use a little wax with your colours, but don't tell anybody": Joshua Reynolds' painting experiments with wax and his sources;
  • the commission and restoration of six portraits of the daughters of George III by Sir William Beechey;
  • Marcus Gheeraerts' The countess of Bedford and her Daughter, an alternative attribution;
  • Jan Both's Italian Landscape, materials, technique and treatment.

Paperback: ISBN 978-0-904454-63-5

Available from the HKI for £9.99 plus postage. Discounts available for multiple orders.

Enquiries to:


HKI Bulletin 3





HKI Bulletin Number 2

Published 1994

The second Bulletin includes articles on:

  • Four early Dutch flower paintings examined with reference to Crispijn van de Passe's 'Den Blom-Hof';
  • Lely's studio practice;
  • Technical examination of Lambert Sustris's 'Diana and Acteon';
  • Giacinto Calandrucci's 'Transfiguration';
  • The Pseudo-Bramantino's 'Deposition of Christ' in St Edward's Church, Guildford;
  • An auxiliary support case history;
  • A consolidation/filler system for insect-damaged wood;
  • Aluminium devices as temporary helpers for panel structural work;
  • The structural conservation of Maso da San Friano's 'Visitation' Alterpiece;
  • A seventeenth-century use of bituminous paint;
  • Dutch pigment terminology I: A seventeenth-century explanation of the word 'schulpwit';
  • Dutch pigment terminology II: 'Schiet' yellow or 'schijt' yellow;
  • The history of egg-white varnishes.

Paperback: ISBN 978-0-904454-35-2

Available from the HKI for £9.99 plus postage. Discounts available for multiple orders.

Enquiries to:

HKI Bulletin 2





HKI Bulletin Number 1

Published 1988

The first Hamilton Kerr Institute Bulletin was published in 1988. Its publication coincided with the exhibition held in the Fitzwilliam Museum from 12 January to 20 March 1988, to mark the first ten years of the Institute's activity.

The production costs of this first issue were met through the great generosity of two individuals, who wish to remain anonymous, and of two Foundations: the Calouste Gulbenkan and the Samuel J. Kress.

Bulletin number one includes articles on:

  • The examination and restoration of 'Henry Prince of Wales on Horseback' by Robert Peake;
  • 'The Judgement of Solomon';
  • 'The Hunt in the Forest'; by Paolo Uccello;
  • Scanning electron-microscopy as an aid in the study of blanching;
  • The examination of the 'Portrait of Rebrandt in a Flat Cap';
  • Cosimo Tura 'The Crucifixion with the Virgin and St John'; Gert van Lon's 'Madonna in the Rosary';
  • The examination and restoration of El Greco's 'El Espolio';
  • The examination of a tabernacle altarpiece;
  • Canaletto: 'Campo SS. Giovanni e Paolo';
  • Orazio Gentileschi's 'Joseph and Potiphar's Wife': a 17th century use of bituminous paint;
  • A self-portrait by Godfied Schalcken;
  • The conservation of 'The Family of Henry VIII: preliminary report.

It also includes information about the HKI and its activities together with the annotated catalogue of paintings exhibited at the Fitzwilliam Museum in 1988.

Paperback: ISBN 978-0-904454-23-9

Available from the HKI for £9.99 plus postage. Discounts available for multiple orders. Enquiries to:

HKI Bulletin 1


In Artists’ Footsteps

Published in 2012

In Artists’ Footsteps: The Reconstruction of Pigments and Paintings explores the technical study and reconstruction of Old Master paintings and pigments from the medieval to the modern period. The contributions from experts in the fields of technical art history and conservation reflect a broad spectrum of current research and investigation worldwide.

Available from Archetype Publications

in artists footsteps


The Westminster Retable

Published in 2009

The Westminster Retable: History, technique, conservation (Painting and Practice)

The late 13th-century Westminster Retable is rightly celebrated as one of the most beautiful and enigmatic panel paintings to have survived from medieval Europe.

Its history is not without tragedy. It was made in Westminster Abbey, one of the most prestigious Gothic churches of the thirteenth century; a treasure-house of medieval wall and panel painting.

However, following the dissolution of the monasteries, it was used as part of a large cupboard. The Gothic Revival eventually lead to its rediscovery and rescue.

Since that time,  it has intrigued commentators due to: its extraordinary technical mastery; its value as an ornamental resource for study; and, more recently, as an important if fragmentary link to the history of painting in England and France in the thirteenth century.

There is every reason to believe that its standing as an artwork was apparent even in the Middle Ages. It may be seen as one of the central monuments of Anglo-French Gothic painting.

There is more information about the retable on our website.

Hardback: ISBN 978-1-905375-28-8


The Westminster Retable History, technique, conservation (Painting and Practice)





Thornham Parva Retable

Published in 2004

The Thornham Parva Retable (Painting and Practice)

The Thornham Parva Retable is Britain's largest and most complete medieval altarpiece. It was found in a loft above a stable at Thornham Hall in Suffolk in 1927 and soon afterwards installed in the small thatched church of St Mary, Thornham Parva in Suffolk.

In 1994 the Thornham Parva Retable was moved to the Hamilton Kerr Institute for examination and conservation. This book is an account of that process. The examination of the Retable is placed in context by discussion of medieval painting techniques and methods of manufacture including the medieval timber trade. A comparison with other similar surviving medieval paintings is presented, and the use of tin-relief decoration, which is a prominent feature of the Retable, is discussed. An important aspect of the conservation of the Retable included the provision of a stable environment within the church. The book may be ordered directly from the publisher, Brepols.

Hardback: ISBN 978-1-872501-07-9


Thornham Parva Retable





Index of Account Holders in the Roberson Archive 1820-1939


Published in 1997

The Index of Account Holders in the Roberson Archive 1820-1939 lists over 9,000 artists recorded in the account ledgers of the London artists' colourmen Charles Roberson & Co., whose extensive archive is housed at the Hamilton Kerr Institute.

The Index provides a checklist of those involved in the Victorian and Edwardian art world, predominantly in the British Isles but also abroad.

Customers include members of the Royal, Scottish, Cambrian and Hibernian Academies, graphic artists, designers, amateur painters (including royal and aristocratic artists), patrons, dealers, restorers and suppliers of materials.

Giving names, addresses and the dates of each account, the index is both a key to further research into the Roberson Archive and a means of identifying artists of the period, including many less well-known names.

Paperback: ISBN 978-0-904454-46-8

Available from the HKI for £25* plus postage.

Enquiries to:

*new discounted price.


Roberson Archive Index





« April 2021 »