A Fascinating Demonstration of the Delicate Craft of Restoring Damaged Art to Its Former Glory


In March 2018, Jack Brandtman of Chicago Aussie shadowed second generation fine art conservator Julian Baumgartner of Baumgartner Fine Art Restoration in Chicago as he delicately restored a self portrait of Emma Gaggiotti Richards, an Italian painter whose work was popular with Queen Victoria. Baumgartner’s process, as shown, requires a delicate hand, an exacting eye and a great deal of patience.

From what Baumgartner shares on social media, the scope of the work appears to vary greatly. It can be a full repair of a badly damaged piece, a fix on a previous restoration, a re-inclusion of a missing character, a hand-painted replacement of oxidation cracks on the canvas or just a simple wipe down of a very dirty piece.

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This is an example of the bridging technique used to mend a tear. What’s different about this execution is that the individual strands of linen are offset: high-low-high-low etc… this is done because the painting’s canvas is very thin and by offsetting the linen strands I avoid creating a consistent termination point across the repair- that is, if they all had the same position we would run the risk of creating a line (two actually, top and bottom) that would potentially transfer to the face of the painting. The offset creates a softer irregular border that isn’t as rigid. I honestly can’t remember if I learned this or discovered it along the way… #artrestoration #artconservation #restoration #conservation #art #fineart #painting #canvas #oilpaint #chicago #paintingconservation #arthistory #paintingrestoration #bfar

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I’ve often mentioned the importance of archival and reversible materials. No better example can be seen on the face of this figure. Those dark splotches are old oil paint retouching that has darkened since its application. And since it’s oil paint it has oxidized to the point where removing it would potentially harm the painting more than leaving it. So the only option left is to retouch over the old retouching. Have the retouching been with archival and reversible pigments the pigment would not have darkened and it would be easily removed with mild solvent. Also, sorry about disappearing all last week; there wasn’t much going on here and I was busy doing behind the scenes stuff that’s really too boring to talk about. #artrestoration #artconservation #restoration #conservation #art #fineart #painting #canvas #oilpaint #chicago #paintingconservation #arthistory #paintingrestoration #bfar

A post shared by Julian Baumgartner (@baumgartnerrestoration) on

 

 

 

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A Fascinating Demonstration of the Delicate Craft of Restoring Damaged Art to Its Former Glory

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