Art Conservation and Restoration

1198 Words5 Pages
The subject of art conservation and restoration has long been debated in the art world. Experts and historians have never agreed that all art must be salvaged at any cost. This paper will examine what art conservation and restoration is, what is involved in these endeavors, and what has been done over the centuries to many of history’s cherished art pieces. To begin this discussion, it is crucial to understand what exactly art conservation and restoration is and what it entails. Art Conservation/Restoration can be defined as an array of professions dedicated to “approaching every painting (or artwork) conservatively in that only what needs attention is addressed and nothing excessive is ever performed, all of the materials used are…show more content…
He highly criticized the practice of “improver” restoration, any procedure that changed the original look of an art object. He preferred to leave a piece untouched, rather than change the look entirely. His contention was: Clumsy restorations only finish the work of destruction. Many people imagine that they do a great deal for paintings when they have them restored…Each so-called restoration is an injury far more to be regretted than the ravages of time, for the result is not a restored picture, but a different picture by the hand of a miserable dauber who substitutes himself for the author of the original who has disappeared under his retouching.” Saito continued along this vein by raising another interesting point. “If the aged look and the damaged surfaces of the art object contribute positively to its overall aesthetic appeal, then restoration ought not to take place” . He continued by citing an interesting anecdote told by Joseph Addison, a well-known 18th Century English author and founder of The Spectator, a daily publication from about 1711 to 1712. Addison described an old man, busy touching up a collection of old paintings. The anecdote is as follows: The old man busied himself incessantly, and repeated touch after touch without rest or intermission, he wore off insensibly every little disagreeable gloss that hung upon a figure. He also added such a beautiful brown to the shades, and mellowness to the colours, that he made
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