This Art Dealer Removes Varnish From A 200-Year-Old Painting And People Love It


A recent video of old dirty varnish being removed from a 200-year-old painting has quickly gone viral. Shared by BBC personality, art dealer, and historian Philip Mould, this restoration project is one for the books!

Similar to videos about power washers removing years of grime from patio decks, or paint being sprayed over an old car to transform it like new, this video features a similar, dazzling effect of renewal.

The incredibly old varnish that has been discolored and weathered over the years is stripped using a special solvent designed to react to the varnish only, leaving the magnificent oil painting unharmed.

Philip Mould shared this video on his Twitter profile, (@philipmould) showing how when the jelly-like solution is applied, the varnish seems to immediately wipe off like a muddy jeep through a car wash.

The transformation is actually almost unbelievable. You think a painting looks good at a museum until the damage of time has been removed, and the colors are almost as vibrant as they were 200 years ago. Notice how finely detailed the lace under the neck is after the brown varnish has been removed.

Twitter users, YarnGeek (@YarnGeek) and Julie of Themyscira (@SamuraiKnitter) had this exchange together, regarding the process of the restoration.

v3Twitter | @YarnGeek | @SamuraiKnitter

Philip Mould is a British art dealer, author, and BBC personality, credited with major discoveries in the art world including the only known portrait of Prince Arthur Tudor, some lost works of Sir Anthony Van Dyck, and a finder of some of Thomas Gainsborough’s early works of art. He has been featured in a number of art documentaries and was also an appraiser on the famous Antiques Roadshow program.

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