Happy warm day in february! Can you believe it!. I however chose to spend my day working on this incredible painting that I am conserving for a client. It is a still-life of fruit by De Heem, a Dutch painter of the 17th century- one of a family of De Heem's. The more famous one did flowers but you will find this one, his son I believe in museums well.
Here it is after I had just started. As you can see it is still very dark except for the fruit where I had just started surface cleaning. It had been restored before and relined so I took the old lining off and scraped as much of the old glue so that the new lining would adhere well. Then I stretched it on a board with tacks while i fixed the old stretcher and frame. Actually it"s one of my students who did it and its fabulous because we were able to keep the integrity of the support. Very important to keep as much of the original as possible.
Actually this painting is incredible considering how old it is. Hardly any loss of paint and not much in the way of craquelure- you know those little cracks that paintings get with age. Well this one doesn't"t have it.
Here is a close up of it father along in the cleaning process. Amazing isn't it. I love working on really good paintings, One learns so much! This is a Vanitas painting which shows the passage of time with bites and rot beginning in some of the fruit and a number of flies and moths here and there.
I will post the whole painting when I have finished and you will be able to see all the little rot and deteriorating places.
That is all for now