The paintings conservation department examines and treats a wide range of paintings, from European and American Old Masters to contemporary works created using non-traditional materials and techniques. Painting supports can be wood, canvas, metal, or board and media can range from egg tempera to oil to acrylic to encaustic. The department is equipped to take x-radiographs and infrared images to aid in understanding artists’ techniques and condition issues. The department has particular expertise in treating oversized murals, either in situ or at the ICA. Paintings conservators can also carry out on-site surveys and assessments of collections.
To view a regional map of additional ICA conservation projects, click here.
Late 16th- or Early 17th-Century Portrait on Panel
Owner: Private Client
This painting arrived at the ICA covered with surface grime, discolored varnish, and ubiquitous, heavy-handed overpaint. Once paintings conservation staff removed the grime and old restorations, a painting in remarkably good condition was revealed. A conservation grade varnish helped make the dark passages more legible, and minor losses and abrasions were inpainted to match the surrounding original. View enlarged before and after images.
Paintings preservation and treatment steps may include:
Structural work, including setting down lifting paint, repairs, stabilizing wood panels, linings
Surface cleaning to remove nicotine and grime, and removal of discolored varnish
Filling and inpainting of losses
Removing murals from walls in the case of renovation or demolition of the original architecture