Art dealer Philip Mould shared on Twitter an incredible restoration of an oil painting – covered in varnish for 200 years. After restoring it with a mixture of gel and solvent, Philip left viewers amazed. The BBC host who has made a number of major art discoveries demonstrated careful removal of the protective varnish from an oil portrait of an unknown lady with a thick layer, that someone covered with a layer of varnish about two hundred years ago. He tested a special mixture of gel and solvent on an ‘oil on panel’ surface before carefully applying it to the picture of the Jacobean lady. Removing the layer of varnish reveals the bright colors hidden underneath.
“A remarkable Jacobean re-emergence after 200 years of yellowing varnish,” Philip wrote on Twitter.
Most details of the 17th-century incredible piece of art are lost, but it’s known that the woman in the picture was 36 years old at the time.
“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
The “Woman in Red” is an oil portrait from 1618. Someone coated the picture with a protective layer of varnish, about two hundred years ago.
It wasn’t until recently that the discoverer of some of Thomas Gainsborough’s earliest known works, revealed the lush colors of the artwork.
“We started restoration of the painting after extensive testing of the varnish on an oil surface on oak panel,” he says.
“A mixture of gel and solvent was created. Specifically just to remove the varnish and not to damage the underlying paint”. He adds mindful of the fact that many art restoration can take a terribly wrong turn.
“It’s different from normal restoration, with the gel suspending the solvent and working in a more controllable way,” Philip explains.
“Still a way to go, but what a transformation,” wrote Philip Mould.
Here is the whole video of the restoration.
A lot of people showed their amazement on Twitter.
However, Mould was also criticized for his “dangerous and irresponsible” approach.