In conservation with...

October 21 2014

Image of In conservation with...

Picture: BG

Apologies for the lack of service yesterday - I was in the conservation studio, where multiple layers of over-paint called for the heavy guns; namely, the solvent acetone. Used properly, it is a revealer of lost genius. In the wrong hands, it is art napalm.

In this case, we revealed a picture which is what I thought it was - a study by a Great Painter - but which in some areas isn't, alas, in the best condition. It has evidently been in the hands of a previous 'restorer' some centuries ago.

I'm indebted to Michael Daley of Art Watch for making me aware of this 1886 quote by Count Giovanni Secco Suardo, a collector and conservator:

It has been neither time, nor war, nor fire, nor the iconoclasts who are responsible for the destruction of the majority of our paintings, rather the ignorant presumption of those who deigned to clean them.

Which is still true today, even after two world wars.

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