The structural conservation of paintings on wooden panel supports

Authored by: Paul Ackroyd

Conservation of Easel Paintings

Print publication date:  November  2020
Online publication date:  November  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367023799
eBook ISBN: 9780429399916
Adobe ISBN:


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Before the mid-twentieth century, the structural repair of wooden panel supports was normally undertaken by craftsmen, such as cabinet makers and joiners, while the cleaning and restoration of the painted surface was the responsibility of the artist/restorer. Such a division of labour was well suited to past attitudes prevalent in the profession; aesthetic concerns regarding the image were of paramount importance, while changes made to the support were only considered relevant when they had a bearing on the condition of the paint layers. Consequently, panels were radically altered – wood at the reverse might be sawn, chiselled, and planed away, or in the case of transfer processes the entire support was completely discarded.

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