art restoration

18 Stories

Struck by Lightning, Ancient Hercules Is Reborn

Vatican experts are restoring this statue to its former glory

(Newser) - Scaffolding in a niche of the Vatican Museums' Round Hall conceals from view the work of restorers who are removing centuries of grime from the largest known bronze statue of the ancient world: the gilded Hercules Mastai Righetti. For more than 150 years, the 13-foot-tall figure of the half-human Roman...

Michelangelo's Abandoned Pieta Reveals Its Secrets

Restoration uncovered the flaws that likely frustrated the artist

(Newser) - It was to be the sculpture that would adorn Michelangelo's tomb, or at least that was the artist's plan. He began working on the Pieta in 1547, while in his 70s, only to scuttle the effort eight years later. The New York Times reports a major restoration effort—...

'We Have Wiped the Smile Off Her Face, I'm Afraid'

Art historians restore a 16th-century work to its original form

(Newser) - A 16th-century vegetable seller is looking a little less cheerful these days thanks to an art restoration that returned her to her original form. The group English Heritage on Friday unveiled the restored work thought to have been painted by Flemish artist Joachim Beuckelaer, reports the Guardian . It seems that...

Novel Technique Restores Michelangelo's Gleam

Team in Italy unleashes microbes to eat away grime on marble

(Newser) - Sometimes, art restorations do not go well . Not well at all . But in Florence, Italy, a team of historians, art restorers, and, crucially, scientists appears to have pulled off the feat in impressive fashion, writes Jason Horowitz in the New York Times . The restoration involved marble statues carved by none...

Restoration Turns Statue Into 'Fugly Humanoid'
This Restoration Didn't Go Well

This Restoration Didn't Go Well

Before-and-after photos are a sight to behold

(Newser) - Whoever did this must be lying low about now. A sculpture of a smiling woman in Spain looks more like a cartoon character after an unidentified art restorer got to work on her, CBS News reports. A local artist in Palencia, Spain, posted before-and-after images of the statue, which adorns...

Scientists Discover Source of The Scream's Big Problem

Humidity is causing low-quality paint to fade, flake

(Newser) - If The Scream could scream a message, it might be "Stop breathing on me!" Scientists say Edvard Munch's 1910 version of the iconic painting, one of four he created, has been deteriorating because the Norwegian used a low-quality tube of paint, the Guardian reports. In a study...

Restored Masterpiece Has a Startling New Sheep

Not everyone is pleased with the 'new' Ghent Altarpiece

(Newser) - A renowned work of art looks noticeably different following a yearslong, $2.4 million restoration. And that's not necessarily a good thing in the eyes of critics. A sheep featured prominently in the 12-panel Ghent Altarpiece, completed by Flemish brothers Hubert and Jan Van Eyck in 1432, now has...

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...

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...

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...

Botched Fresco Restorer: Pay Up
 Botched Fresco 
 Restorer: Pay Up 

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...

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...

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 asking the town of Borja in Spain to keep the new version of the painting just as it is. The...

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...

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...

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...

How to Fix a Torn Picasso
 How to Fix a Torn Picasso 

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...

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...

18 Stories