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The Conservation of The Assassination of Archimedes

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An old oil painting, painted on paper and mounted onto wood, is cleaned, retouched, and restored. Art conservator Julian Baumgartner of Baumgartner Fine Art Restoration in Chicago documents the sounds and visuals of his diligent work in this video: The Conservation of The Assassination of Archimedes.

Obscured by a darkened varnish and mounted to a wood panel the artwork is cleaned and the panel removed using both modern and traditional techniques. Using routers, hand planes and scalpels the wood is painstakingly removed form the thin paper in order to facilitate the preservation of the paper via archival mounting to acid-free board.

Employing archival and reversible materials and techniques, Baumgartner ensures that the piece is preserved and stable for generations to come.

baumgartner conservation - before and after
In the version below, he narrates each step, revealing more about the materials and challenges in the process, including a retouched section that he painted twice to improve his own work. In total, it took “about 40+ hours worth of work spread out over a couple of weeks”.


Learn more about Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer Archimedes on Wikipedia, famous for the Archimedes screw and other innovative machines.

Previously on this site: How art conservator Julian Baumgartner restores damaged paintings. Plus: Moving and restoring an ancient Greek mosaic.

h/t Open Culture.

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