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Art Expert Removes 200-Year-Old Yellowing Varnish From A 399-Year-Old Painting For A Striking Difference

Published 2 weeks ago

Ecce Mono is not the only artwork restoration that deserves internet’s attention. This time though, a successful attempt at restoring an old painting has captivated the audiences.

Phillip Mould, presenter of BBC’s Fake or Fortune, recently shared a clip on his twitter account of yellowish paint varnish being removed from a painting from 1618. This protective layer of oil was applied on the artwork about 200 years ago in order to preserve it from any damage, yet simultaneously it hid the true colors of the portrait.

“We started restoration of the painting yesterday after extensive testing of the varnish on an oil surface on oak panel,” Mould told The Telegraph. “A mixture of gel and solvent was created, specifically just to remove the varnish and not to damage the underlying paint.”

And… It worked! It was this “transformation” that revealed the age of the painting and of the woman in it, with other discoveries yet to be made in the future.

Check out the big reveal of the true colors of the painting below -it is, indeed, rather impressive.

More info: twitter (h/t boredpanda)

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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

Most people were quick to celebrate the astonishing results




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



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1618, painting restoration, Philip Mould, portrait restoration, removing varnish, varnish removal, Woman in Red
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