The Cincinnati Art Museum has made the restoration of Van Gogh painting “Weed with two figures”, From 1890, in public view, which represents a novelty since restorers do not usually show themselves doing their work. This can be seen from this month through October.
But we who are far from the city we must be content to see Chief Conservative Knutas Per at work, trying to eliminate some very serious errors of the previous restoration carried out in 1975, although it was not by bad intention, but by applying different techniques to the current ones and that at that time, were well seen by all.
In the previous restoration, using wax resin, they placed a second canvas on the back of the original. Over time, the wax penetrated the canvas collecting in the cracks left by the artist's brush and turning from transparent to milky white, which ends up hiding, although not in plain sight, the bright color and textures of the paint.
For new restoration, Knutas uses a soft brush dipped in solvent to soften the wax and then a soft bamboo stick to remove it without damaging the paint. It also removes the varnish that was applied in the previous restoration, because although it can protect a painting, it can also alter its composition once it hardens.
In the words of Knutas himself, the new restoration “will make the paint quality come to life much more”.
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