Conservation

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David Bull, paintings conservator, National Gallery of Art, shows how The Feast of the Gods looked at various stages of its creation by examining reconstructions as well as infrared and x-ray images that show the paints below the surface. This clip is from European Art: Feast of the Gods, produced by the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

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In addition to The Feast of the Gods, the 1598 inventory of the Camerino listed a “bacchanal of men” by Dosso, now lost, and three other paintings by Titian: Bacchus and Ariadne, now at The National Gallery, London, and The Bacchanal of the Andrians and The Worship of Venus, now at the Prado in Madrid. Above them hung a series of ten smaller scenes from the Aeneid, also painted by Dosso (including one now at the National Gallery of Art). David Bull, paintings conservator at the National Gallery of Art, presents a reconstruction of the camerino and the arrangement of the paintings within. This clip is from European Art: Feast of the Gods, produced by the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

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Ann Hoenigswald, senior conservator of paintings, and Felix Monguilot Benzal, 2012-2013 Kress Interpretive Fellow, review the conservation treatment of El Greco’s Saint Martin and the Beggar (1597/1599). In 2014, Spain will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the death of El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos, 1541-1614) with major exhibitions of the artist’s works. Upon completion of treatment, the Gallery will loan Saint Martin and the Beggar and its companion painting Madonna and Child with Saint Martina and Saint Agnes to their city of origin for The Greek in Toledo exhibition at the Museum of Santa Cruz, Toledo. In this video from January 22, 2013, Hoenigswald and Monguilot Benzal reveal how the original texture and color of the paint will return once a layer of discolored varnish is removed. The Kress Interpretive Fellowship is supported by a grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation to provide a new kind of mentored professional development opportunity within American art museums.  

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At the time of their acquisition in 1995, Cornelis Verbeeck's paintings Dutch Warship Attacking a Spanish Galley and Spanish Galleon Firing Its Cannons were covered with layers of discolored varnish. Their sojourn in the conservation lab, however, revealed a complex story that transformed our understanding of these paintings. Arthur Wheelock, curator of northern baroque paintings, is joined by Michael Swicklik, senior conservator, and Richard Ford, frame conservator, as they discuss this exciting discovery, and the paintings' new appearance as two halves of a reunited battle scene.

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Vermeer: Master of Light is a visual pilgrimage in search of what makes a Vermeer a Vermeer. It is a journey of discovery, guiding the viewer through an examination of three of Johannes Vermeer's paintings and exploring the "secrets" of his technique. Utilizing the potential of x-ray analysis and infrared reflectography as well as the power of computer technology, the program delves beneath the surface of the paintings to unveil fascinating insights into Vermeer's work. This film celebrates one of the most extraordinary painters in the history of art. Narrated by Meryl Streep, with commentary by Arthur Wheelock, curator of northern baroque paintings, National Gallery of Art, and David Bull, conservator. This segment explores the power of the National Gallery's painting A Lady Writing. It examines Vermeer's painting techniques and his use of color.

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Vermeer: Master of Light is a visual pilgrimage in search of what makes a Vermeer a Vermeer. It is a journey of discovery, guiding the viewer through an examination of three of Johannes Vermeer's paintings and exploring the "secrets" of his technique. Utilizing the potential of x-ray analysis and infrared reflectography as well as the power of computer technology, the program delves beneath the surface of the paintings to unveil fascinating insights into Vermeer's work. This film celebrates one of the most extraordinary painters in the history of art. Narrated by Meryl Streep, with commentary by Arthur Wheelock, curator of northern baroque paintings, National Gallery of Art, and David Bull, conservator. This segment uses computer technology to illustrate how Vermeer applied the optical principle of the camera obscura while painting Girl with the Red Hat.

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Vermeer: Master of Light is a visual pilgrimage in search of what makes a Vermeer a Vermeer. It is a journey of discovery, guiding the viewer through an examination of three of Johannes Vermeer's paintings and exploring the "secrets" of his technique. Utilizing the potential of x-ray analysis and infrared reflectography as well as the power of computer technology, the program delves beneath the surface of the paintings to unveil fascinating insights into Vermeer's work. This film celebrates one of the most extraordinary painters in the history of art. Narrated by Meryl Streep, with commentary by Arthur Wheelock, curator of northern baroque paintings, National Gallery of Art, and David Bull, conservator. This segment examines the National Gallery's painting Girl with the Red Hat. It explains Vermeer's mastery of color and explores the minute details of the painting with magnification of, in some instances, more than 300 percent.

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Vermeer: Master of Light is a visual pilgrimage in search of what makes a Vermeer a Vermeer. It is a journey of discovery, guiding the viewer through an examination of three of Johannes Vermeer's paintings and exploring the "secrets" of his technique. Utilizing the potential of x-ray analysis and infrared reflectography as well as the power of computer technology, the program delves beneath the surface of the paintings to unveil fascinating insights into Vermeer's work. This film celebrates one of the most extraordinary painters in the history of art. Narrated by Meryl Streep, with commentary by Arthur Wheelock, curator of northern baroque paintings, National Gallery of Art, and David Bull, conservator. This segment uses computer technology to deconstruct The Music Lesson and demonstrate to the viewer how Vermeer has painstakingly placed every object in the painting to achieve his desired result.

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Vermeer: Master of Light is a visual pilgrimage in search of what makes a Vermeer a Vermeer. It is a journey of discovery, guiding the viewer through an examination of three of Johannes Vermeer's paintings and exploring the "secrets" of his technique. Utilizing the potential of x-ray analysis and infrared reflectography as well as the power of computer technology, the program delves beneath the surface of the paintings to unveil fascinating insights into Vermeer's work. This film celebrates one of the most extraordinary painters in the history of art. Narrated by Meryl Streep, with commentary by Arthur Wheelock, curator of northern baroque paintings, National Gallery of Art, and David Bull, conservator. This segment analyzes the National Gallery of Art's painting Woman Holding a Balance. With the help of special effects we are able to understand Vermeer's construction of the painting and his complete control of the work.

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Vermeer: Master of Light is a visual pilgrimage in search of what makes a Vermeer a Vermeer. It is a journey of discovery, guiding the viewer through an examination of three of Johannes Vermeer's paintings and exploring the "secrets" of his technique. Utilizing the potential of x-ray analysis and infrared reflectography as well as the power of computer technology, the program delves beneath the surface of the paintings to unveil fascinating insights into Vermeer's work. This film celebrates one of the most extraordinary painters in the history of art. Narrated by Meryl Streep, with commentary by Arthur Wheelock, curator of northern baroque paintings, National Gallery of Art, and David Bull, conservator. This compilation video combines all 5 parts of the Vermeer: Master of Light video podcast series.