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16 Famous Paintings That Were Restored by Talented Professionals

An art restorer is like a neurosurgeon that has no margin for error. If you choose the wrong solvent to remove old varnish, you can accidentally remove age-old paint from the canvas. Restoration can’t be rushed and you have to be really careful while doing it. This is why it may take 6 months to restore just 1 inch of a painting.

We at Bright Side were really fascinated to see how art restorers bring a new life into old masterpieces and want to share some of the results of their efforts in this compilation.

Woman in Red (1618) was under a thick layer of varnish for 200 years until Philip Mould removed it and showed the world what it looked like 400 years ago.

The restorer uses a special solution that washes off the varnish but doesn’t damage the paint.

Thanks to a restorer, this dark and gloomy portrait of twin sisters from the nineteenth century is shiny again.

Christ by Jan van Hemessen (the sixteenth century) was too provocative. It was painted dark and the clothes were added. Today, we can see the original again.

The portrait of Isabella Romola de Medici (the sixteenth century) was almost destroyed as a “fake” because a nineteenth-century restorer changed it beyond recognition.

The portrait after the restoration in the nineteenth century (left) vs the restored original (right)

This painting by Valerian Babadin (during the nineteenth — twentieth century) came in for restoration in terrible condition. The restorer fixed the canvas and the base of the frame.

The portrait of Princess Henrietta of England (1665) was restored from old varnish and dirt, and all the damages were fixed.

A late eighteenth-century portrait of a girl was restored from the old layer of varnish, so now the painting is as light as it was supposed to be.

“The lost Charles Dickens portrait (1843) as we first encountered it from a sale of knick-knacks in South Africa — it was saved from the effect of mold.”

Here’s the restoration of an Emma Gaggiotti portrait (the nineteenth century). The old varnish was removed and the painting was restored after a poor conservation job.

After the restoration, you can literally feel the castle bathing in the morning light.

Time really took a toll on this portrait made with oil but the restorer returned it to its original look.

What the mysterious 400-year-old Prince Henry looked like before and after the removal of old varnish

Catherine of Alexandria, the nineteenth century

Here’s the result of work done by the Spanish art restorer, Jose Nieva. He brought a great baroque painting back to life!

After the removal of old varnish, the painting has its bright colors again.

This process really looks like magic.

Have you ever tried to restore something old? Share your experience in the comment section below!

Preview photo credit philipmould / Twitter