We search all over the world for artwork to feature in our gallery, and often times the art we acquire has been through decades and decades of aging. We recently added a wonderful oil painting by Jules Dupré to our collection; however it was in need of a little tender loving care.
Dupré is widely considered to be one of the most important and influential 19th century French landscape artists from the Barbizon school. Naturally, we were interested in returning the painting to its original condition. Prior to cleaning, the whole painting had a dark, yellow tint. The conservation process involves carefully removing the old varnish off the surface of the painting and applying a new varnish to protect it. Varnish is a final layer applied to a painting after it’s finished and completely dry. It’s used to protect the painting from dirt, dust, and pollutants. Varnish also evens out the finish of a painting, making it all equally glossy or matte. Over time, oil paintings tend to darken because of the accumulation of dirt from the environment on the protective varnish layer. Our Dupré looks simply stunning after the conservation process; the previously darkened colors have been brought back to life. If kept in a proper environment, the painting should not need cleaning for another century or more.