The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Groundbreaking new Danish research shows masterpieces at risk from preservation technique
Peter Paul Rubens (1577 - 1640), Matthaeus Yrsselius (1541-1629), Abbot of Sint-Michiel's Abbey in Antwerp. National Gallery of Denmark, c. 1624. Oil on oak, 120 x 102,5 cm.

COPENHAGEN.- Groundbreaking new Danish research shows that a frequently used preservation method may damage oil paintings – including some of the world’s great masterpieces.

If an oil painting treated with the frequently used wax-resin lining is exposed to relative humidity above 60 per cent, there is a serious risk that it will shrink – and the paint will be compressed. A thesis defended this week at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Conservation shows that a method used on many masterpieces – including Rembrandt, van Gogh and the Danish Golden Age paintings – in some cases does a lot more harm than good.

During much of the 20th century, conservators used this so-called ‘lining’ technique to protect the masterpieces in the national collections. They attached a piece of canvas to the rear of the painting against the negative influences of excessive moisture fluctuations by using a mixture of wax and resin. The technique was particularly used in the 1960s to protect paintings during transit and on loans for exhibitions. Since the most important paintings are often the ones that travel the most, they were typically wax-resin lined.

In her PhD thesis “Lined canvas paintings: Mechanical properties and structural response to fluctuating relative humidity, exemplified by the collection of Danish Golden Age paintings at Statens Museum for Kunst, Cecil Krarup Andersen has examined the difference in moisture sensibility before and after wax-resin lining. If the relative humidity in the ambient air rises to a level above 60 percent, the consequences are dramatic. The canvas shrinks and the risk is that layers of paint will flake off.

”The wax-resin method has not been used since the 1970’s. At that time it was discovered that the method i.e. darkened the colours of the paintings. But the vulnerability to climate conditions is a new factor and it is quite shocking to us,” Cecil Krarup Andersen says.

Marion Mecklenburg, Senior Researcher at the Smithsonian Institution and supervisor on the thesis, states: “What she has done is a magnificent work. It is so unusual that research gives such clear results with no questions. The real message here is that it is altering the perception of what we think has happened in terms of conservation.”

Museums generally require an approximate relative humidity of 50 per cent. But in case of malfunctioning climate control, flooding or if the works are lent to museums which do not take the same precautions, the paintings may be very vulnerable. This is also the case in private collections or in castles or churches where there may be no climate control at all.

Cecil Krarup Andersen’s scientific results have attracted international attention, and they are now in considerable demand. It is already clear that her research will have a huge impact on the world’s art, museums and cultural heritage.

Today's News

August 5, 2013

Non-invasive geophysical techniques help archaeologists study Pakal II's crypt

Conrad Shawcross transforms the Roundhouse into a vast timekeeping device this summer

Exhibition of Víctor Grippo's work deciphers the hidden meanings found under primary objects

Groundbreaking new Danish research shows masterpieces at risk from preservation technique

"Walter Inglis Anderson: Everything I See Is New And Strange" opens at the LSU Museum of Art

Intimate exhibition of color photographs by Nan Goldin on view at QF Gallery in East Hampton

From Jugendstil to Industrial Design: Exhibition in Gent presents the work of Peter Behrens

Ângela Ferreira: Political Cameras opens at Stills, Scotland's Centre for Photography

Exhibition of paintings by Charles Green Shaw opens at Peyton Wright Gallery

Brass and classic era automobiles to shine at RM Auction's annual Hershey sale

The Land of No Heroes: Tsering Nyandak's most recent paintings at Rossi & Rossi in London

Frame Funding opportunity: Eli Wilner & Company offers up to 50% off framing projects for museums

Exhibition of forty drawings by Charles Steffen on view at the Collection de l'Art Brut, Lausanne

We Think Alone: Project by Miranda July only exists in your inbox

International Prize for Photography of the Foundation of Lower Saxony 2015 goes to Hannah Collins

Rome celebrates move to protect Colosseum from traffic

Transcendence in glass: The art of Martin Blank on view at Schantz Galleries

Exhibition of the most recent constructions by Ted Larsen opens at David Richard Gallery

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- $37.7 million bowl sets Chinese ceramic auction record at Sotheby's Hong Kong

2.- Major new show at Picasso Museum focuses on pivotal year in Picasso's life and work

3.- 63 Dutch Masters return home to Holland for an exhibition at the Hermitage Amsterdam

4.- Exhibition reveals new insights into Renoir's celebrated "Luncheon of the Boating Party"

5.- Nazi-looted Pissarro painting at centre of legal tussle

6.- The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art presents 'Lines of Inquiry: Learning from Rembrandt's Etchings'

7.- Pristine Hermès Himalayan Gris Cendre Birkin bag sells for $112,500 at Heritage Auctions

8.- Tom Petty, heartland rocker with dark streak, dead at 66

9.- Exhibition presenting the art of Marcel Duchamp and Salvador Dalí opens in London

10.- Private collectors using online appraisal platform to get multiple estimates from top auction houses

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful