art restoration

11 Stories

Unrestorable Renaissance Painting Proves Them Wrong

Giorgio Vasari's 'The Last Supper' is restored 50 years after flood

(Newser) - Renaissance artist Giorgio Vasari's The Last Supper was so badly damaged by floodwaters a half-century ago that it was considered beyond repair. Today, however, it is once again on display in all its glory, the Art Newspaper reports. The 96-square-foot painting, commissioned by a cloister of Italian nuns in... More »

Shakespeare May Not Have Looked Like This

Portrait cleaning could alter the Bard's look in a big way

(Newser) - When you picture William Shakespeare, the image that likely comes to mind is the Chandos Portrait—the most famous portrait of the Bard and the only one known to have been painted during his lifetime, reports Smithsonian . But that doesn't mean it looks exactly like him, at least in... More »

Mystery of Dismembered Painting Finally Solved

It took CSI-style tools to see past clumsy restorations

(Newser) - After centuries of mistreatment and nearly 50 years of mystery, a biblical painting in a Dutch museum has finally been declared an authentic Rembrandt. Experts say they needed "CSI-style" tools to authenticate Saul and David, which had been repeatedly over-painted in long-ago restorations and even cut in two at... More »

Botched Fresco Restorer: Pay Up

Image has brought church $2.6K in donations

(Newser) - Spain's botched restoration of a fresco of Jesus has developed quite a fan base —and it's brought in $2,600 in donations for the church that houses it. Now, the elderly woman who created the monstrosity wants to cash in, NPR reports: She's asking the church... More »

Botched Restoration Luring Scads of Tourists

Bizarre Jesus even gets Twitter profile

(Newser) - The astoundingly botched "restoration" of a 19th-century Spanish fresco featuring Christ has become a hit with tourists—and now even has its own Twitter account ("once a handsome fresco, now a hedgehog," guffaws the parody profile). The horrible paint job by a well-intentioned elderly parishioner at a... More »

Fans of Botched Restoration Launch Petition to Keep It

Why mess with genius?

(Newser) - And you thought the story about the "world's worst art restoration" couldn't get better: More than 10,000 people have signed an online petition at Change.org asking the town of Borja in Spain to keep the new version of the painting just as it is. The... More »

Parishioner Carries Out 'Worst Restoration Ever'

Fresco turned into 'crayon sketch of hairy monkey'

(Newser) - A well-meaning elderly parishioner in Spain who decided to restore a painting in her local church turned a prized fresco of Jesus into what the BBC' s correspondent describes as a "crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic." The Elias Garcia Martinez fresco had... More »

At Louvre, a Brawl Over a da Vinci

Some argue Leonardo's masterpiece was 'overcleaned'

(Newser) - Who knew art historians could duke it out like this? The Louvre finds itself embroiled in a big brouhaha regarding its recent restoration of a Leonardo da Vinci painting. Two of France's preeminent art experts, who sit on the museum's 20-person committee tasked with overseeing art restoration, have... More »

Art Restorers Accused of Wiping Out Fresco Penises

'Fertility Tree' not so fertile any more

(Newser) - What a bunch of weenies. A group of Italian restorers has been accused of scrubbing away several phallic symbols in a refurbished fresco. Some 25 penises and testicles appear to have gone missing from the medieval Tree of Fertility art work, reports the Telegraph . "Many parts of the work... More »

How to Fix a Torn Picasso

Restoration will halve painting's value

(Newser) - It's painstaking work, but conservators can indeed repair the Picasso torn by a clumsy museum patron. Once restored, however, the painting will likely lose about half its $130 million value, reports the New York Post . A few different repair options are available, notes the Explainer column in Slate . With the... More »

Digital Rembrandt Show Restores Lost Details

Controversial reproductions aim to show the works at they were

(Newser) - The life work of Rembrandt, including all 317 known paintings, goes on display next week in full-sized digital reproductions that attempt to re-create the works as they emerged from the artist's studio. The Complete Rembrandt, Life Size, in Amsterdam, restores sections lopped off of canvases, transforms colors, and brightens up... More »

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