Conservation of paintings

The conservation and restoration of easel paintings is a highly skilled discipline that requires artistic skills combined with an understanding of different physical and chemical processes. This profession links art history with a knowledge of different painting techniques attributed to different artistic periods. The process of conservation and restoration also demands a deep understanding of the properties of the original and modern materials and techniques used to enable a precise evaluation of the possible irreversible effects on a particular painting.

At the time of their creation all old paintings looked different than they do today. This is because paintings are delicate by nature and subject to the natural aging process, deterioration or accidental damage. Changes become particularly apparent in the paint layer, and are determined by such factors as the picture support, the ground, and the chemical composition of the paint layer and varnish.  Pigments may fade or change colour, crack patterns develop as the paint dries, contracts and moves with the support. At the same time the varnish layer becomes discoloured. Paintings may also be obscured by unprofessional renovation treatments that conceal the original paint and which can seriously mislead.

My experience in the conservation-restoration of paintings includes the following:

  • Consolidation of loose or flaking paint
  • Canvas stabilisation and repair, including lining
  • Panel stabilisation and repair
  • Surface cleaning to remove grime, removal of discoloured varnish and over-paintings
  • Filling, retouching and varnishing