Before and After

May 4 2020

Image of Before and After

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

There was an interesting image posted onto Twitter last week (via Maaike Dirkx @RembrandtsRoom) of a portrait that was recently sold at Sotheby's.

A portrait of a gentleman standing beside a framed portrait of a lady (right), which appeared in the recent Rafael Valls sale at Sotheby's, actually appeared in auction at Sotheby's NY in 2013. The image on the left shows how the painting appeared in the 2013 sale before the picture was conserved.

Curiously, you'll notice that someone had chosen to paint out the gentleman's arm at a later date. We may only speculate as to why this may have been done. Perhaps the composition wasn't considered appealing enough in a previous age. Many paintings 'restorers' of past centuries often carried out such alterations to pictures that didn't meet the aesthetic standards of certain owners or dealers. It's wonderful to see that in this case this alteration was entirely reversable.

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