Painting conservation and restoration is an art of its own
Everhard jabach and His Family, a masterpiece on canvas completed in 1660 by Charles Le Brun, has seen better days. The 355-year-old family portrait by King Louis XIV’S leading painter was covered in a badly tinted varnish, had numerous superficial scratches, and structural damage had split the painting nearly in half. But damaged paintings do not mean that the masterpiece cannot be enjoyed: good conservation or professional restoration can bring back the value of the painting to what it once was. On June 2015, after a 10-month restoration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art lead by Michael Gallagher that involved retouching, structural work, re-varnishing, and numerous conservation techniques, this giant painting achieved its old glory.
Works of arts, just like all products of civilisation, are prone to deterioration, and paintings, in particular, are easily damaged due to ageing and the consequences of climate change. Hence, museums and art galleries undertake special care to preserve the lustre and charm of paintings in their collections. There are two things that merit attention in the preservation of paintings: a certain air temperature and at a certain level of humidity. Controlling the humidity helps prevent paintings from drying out and possibly cracking or becoming damp. These environs also apply to buildings and residences with masterpieces, as well as private collections and family heirlooms.
The precious artworks are usually cared for by a team of conservators with specific expertise, like the treatment of paintings on wood panels or the treatment of modern paintings. Older paintings usually have a coating of varnish to make the colours look richer and give the paintings some protection. The majority of modern paintings are not protected by varnish, which can create problems for conservators who are trying to take care of them. Paintings that need treatment are taken to a specially designed studio for conservation and restoration.
Painting conservation and restoration studios manned by professionals can be easily found in London, Tokyo, Paris, and New York. In 2005 in Jakarta, Art Restauro Laboratory (AR Lab), a permanent residence in art:1, started to provide amenities dedicated to art preservation and conservation services, and consulting in relation to museum ergonomics and collection maintenance, storage or conservation issues.
Led by Monica Gunawan, the studio renders the unique skills of art restoration by way of a blending of traditional methodology from Florence and state-of-the-art technology to ensure satisfaction-guaranteed results. Strategically located in Central Jakarta, Arte Restauro Lab strives to meet the highest standards thanks to its complete laboratory equipment and responsive restorative methods.
Jl. Rajawali Selatan Raya No 3, Jakarta 10720 Tel: +62 21 6470 0168, +62 21 6470 0158 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.mondecor.com/artconservation