This is what I love about museum and the work they do to preserve art work. It takes a lot of time and meticulous efforts.

The Bowes Museum's Blog

B.M.17_before and after conservation Before and after conservation. The left image is before conservation, with a yellow discoloured varnish and overpaint partially hiding the paint(photo: Jason Hynes). The right image is after conservation, where the painting has been fully restored.

The conservation of the Spanish portrait of Fray José Sigüenza (B.M.17), which was mentioned in our Exposing of a Worn Painted Surface blog entry is now completed, and I can finally present the results of the restoration process.

The restoration can be divided in to three separate phases:

  • Varnishing
  • Filling of losses
  • Retouching

In this blog post I will first present the different phases and then I will reveal an intriguing mystery regarding the Latin text painted on the picture.


For most historic art works that were made before the pre impressionistic era, varnishing is an obvious step in the conservation treatment. A picture varnish is traditionally a natural resin in a solvent solution applied…

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