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Behind the Scenes in Conservation: A sneak peek!

by Conservation

7/16/2020

behind the scenes , paintings conservation , Varnish removal , Nicolas Lancret , French Rococo , rococo pastoral , 17th century French painting

These days, our paintings conservator is working on a painting that, as you can see, is long overdue for cleaning.  This idyllic scene by French painter, Nicolas Lancret (1690-1743), was acquired in 1940, and has not been conserved while in our collection.

As might be expected, the varnish layer has yellowed over the past eighty years.  However, in addition to discolored varnish, there is a brown-tinted coating that obscured the cool bright colors.  It was probably applied to mask some condition issues with the painting.  Conservation of “The Swing” is going to be a long term and challenging treatment, but we knew you’d enjoy seeing just this sneak peek from the early stages of conservation.