Surrey's most important artworks: The Oath and Departure of Eliezer @ Hampton Court Palace
PUBLISHED: 19:39 14 September 2010 | UPDATED: 17:36 20 February 2013
Pioneering science is behind the effervescent glow of this magnificent tapestry
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine July 2010
Pioneering science is behind the effervescent glow of this magnificent tapestry (right), which was commissioned by Henry VIII to commemorate the birth of his son Edward and is still on display at Hampton Court Palace today.
One of ten tapestries in the acclaimed Story of Abraham series,
The Oath and Departure of Eliezer was recently the subject of a six-year conservation project to virtually restore its vivid colours.
This unique project showcases one of the few remaining types of artwork to have a direct link with King Henry VIII himself, and reveals the spectacular colour and vibrancy of the Tudor court, says Kathryn Hallett, preventive conservation and science manager at Historic Royal Palaces.
Researchers painstakingly examined every yarn in the tapestry and calculated how much colour had been lost over the years. They then worked out how tiny, specially calibrated beams of light could be safely projected onto two million separate sections of the tapestry to temporarily reinstate its original appearance.
- The virtual restorationis on show as part of Henry VIIIs Tapestries Revealed at daily timed intervals at Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey KT8 9AU until Sunday October 31.