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Art Expert Removes 200-Year-Old Yellowing Varnish From A 399-Year-Old Painting, And It’s So Satisfying

A protective finish is applied to keep paintings safe from wear, but they will discolor as a result of time going by. About two hundred years ago, someone coated a 1618 oil portrait of an unknown lady with a thick layer of varnish and it wasn’t until recently that the true colors of the artwork were unearthed. Art expert and host of the BBC One show Fake or Fortune Philip Mould shared footage with his followers, revealing the careful removal of the protective varnish from the painting, and the transformation looks stunning.

“A remarkable Jacobean re-emergence after 200 years of yellowing varnish,” he wrote on Twitter. Most details of the “Woman in Red” are lost, and all that we know is that she was 36 years old at the time. While art restoration sometimes takes a terribly wrong turn, the presenter demonstrated a high level of expertise when revealing the lush colors hiding under the protective finish.

“The painting was originally in a private collection in England,” Mould told The Telegraph. “We started restoration of the painting <…> after extensive testing of the varnish on an oil surface on oak panel. A mixture of gel and solvent was created, specifically just to remove the varnish and not to damage the underlying paint. It’s different from normal restoration, with the gel suspending the solvent and working in a more controllable way.”

More info: Twitter

About two hundred years ago, someone coated a 1618 oil portrait of an unknown lady with a thick layer of varnish

It wasn’t until recently that the true colors of the artwork were unearthed

“We started restoration of the painting <…> after extensive testing of the varnish on an oil surface on oak panel”

“A mixture of gel and solvent was created, specifically just to remove the varnish and not to damage the underlying paint”

“It’s different from normal restoration, with the gel suspending the solvent and working in a more controllable way”

Most details of the “Woman in Red” are lost, and all that we know is that she was 36 years old at the time

The process revealed all the lush colors, hiding under the protective finish

For more information, check out the video below

Most people were quick to celebrate the astonishing results

But some criticized the art historian for his “dangerous and irresponsible” approach

 

Source: art

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