THE PAINT DETECTIVE

Event date | Sep 20, 2018

A well-attended meeting of the Society at Christchurch School Hall heard a fascinating lecture by Patrick Baty

Patrick is often called ‘The Paint Detective’ for a very good reason. A large part of his work is discovering and advising clients on the historic colours used in the decoration of all manner of buildings from ancient houses and palaces to wartime RAF stations, social housing projects, to Tower Bridge and the Tamar Bridge and Holborn Viaduct, churches, work at Stowe and much more. Often interiors are reinstated to match their original decoration discovered by Patrick, though this is not always appropriate.

King’s Presence Chamber, Queen’s House Greenwich, post restoration.

He told us some interesting stories, including an account of a house with discreet Royal connections on Dartmoor where he was able to prove that a pair of doors had come from Carlton House, a long demolished building hundreds of miles away. He also described his quest for a hidden mural by James Abbott McNeill Whistler in the Chelsea home in Cheyne Walk where the painter lived.  Patrick is confident that he has identified the room in the house where Whistler painted the famous portrait of his mother.

Patrick and his wife run their business, “Papers and Paints” at 4 Park Walk, Chelsea SW10 a company set up by his father in 1960. Thames & Hudson recently published his book ‘The Anatomy of Colour’ a must-have reference book for decorators, designers and amateurs interested in decoration and colour in our built environment.  Paint analysis is a small and highly specialised field, and Patrick explained some of the scientific techniques involved.  An article about Patrick appeared on page 126 of Country Life on 10th October 2018.

Patrick Baty is a former member of the Council of the Chelsea Society, and of its Planning Committee.  He served in the 9/12th Royal Lancers and in the Artists Rifles (SAS).

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