When paintings become discoloured or damaged they may lose more than just their visual impact. The history, ancestry and cultural impact of an artwork is entwined within its brushstrokes and requires just as much care as the overall composition when it comes to their conservation. Professional conservators at Fine Art Restoration Company ensure that their work is sensitive to the historic and artistic integrity of each painting they entrusted in their care, whether it is a grand biblical painting or an important family portrait.
This article will investigate the ways in which paintings can be restored with professional skill when they become impacted by age, atmosphere, accidents or disasters. The results that can be achieved are astonishing, bringing life back to artwork that may have otherwise been lost forever.
Paintings have often become yellow or distorted over time due to contamination on their surface or a varnish layer made of darkening natural resin. One of the most frequently performed treatments at Fine Art Restoration Company is the removal of aged and discoloured varnish and surface contamination.
Artwork can become discoloured due to historic exposure to fireplaces and nicotine smoke over many decades. This settles on the surface and can become embedded in the varnish layer. In most cases professional restoration is required to remove this type of staining, often revealing colours and intricate detail that have not been seen for generations.
This large copy of The Night Watch has the use of a popular historic pigment that included bitumen, a tar-like substance that can produce a crocodile scale surface on an oil painting over time.
Fine Art Restoration Company’s easel painting conservator was able to drastically improve the visual appearance of this painting by stabilising the surface and removing contamination, before toning the raised areas with a conservation-appropriate material. The results revealed many more of the figures you would expect to see in Rembrandt’s masterpiece.
Broken oil on panel
This painting is a copy of a famous Gabriel Metsu piece housed at the Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague. The surface discolouration was caused by atmospheric contamination and the panel had become weak due to age and had completely come apart in the middle.
Fine Art Restoration Company’s easel painting conservators began this restoration process by sensitively removing surface dirt and contamination with a tailored solution that would not disturb the paint layer. This was followed by the removal of varnish, allowing us to see the painting in its true form with a much more vivid composition. The panel was safely re-adhered before being retouched with tiny amounts of conservation pigment along the breakage, sympathetically replacing any original paint that had become lost.
Water damaged paintings
Artwork can become damaged by water due to accidents, floods or leaks. This often leads to mould growth or a cloudy discolouration on the surface of the painting. This portrait had suffered from historic water damage and the mould had spread across the entire piece, including the original gilt frame.
The water damage had led to cracked and flaking paint and an unstable canvas. The painting was expertly restored by the conservators, eliminating the mould spores before completing conservation treatments to revive the disturbed artwork.
The portrait above was damaged when a ceiling collapsed due to an escape of water. This was rescued from the site by experts from Fine Art Restoration Company and restored in their London studio.
Fire damaged paintings
Fire can often seem like the most devastating type of household disaster, but paintings can be saved if they are quickly and carefully salvaged and treated by professional conservators. The portrait below had smoke contamination as well as a cracked paint layer that had fried due to the heat. This was sensitively consolidated by Fine Art Restoration Company and the acidic soot was removed with a customised conservation solution.
The artwork below was also affected by fire, leading much of the colour and detail of the work to become lost under a dark veil of smoke contamination. This was removed, revealing the original bright colours and composition.
Professional painting conservation
If you have a painting that requires professional intervention from the experts at Fine Art Restoration Company, you can receive a free quote and friendly advice by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0207 112 7576
As well as traditional oil paintings, Fine Art Restoration Company are also experts in cleaning and restoring:
● Frames and gold leaf decoration
● Modern prints and paintings
● Ceramics and decorative objects
● Antique and modern furniture
● Memorabilia and retro items
● Works on paper
● Bespoke conservation framing
● Unusual items
For more information visit the Fine Art Restoration Company