The
Renaissance
Society

at The University of Chicago
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Know What You See

October 06 – November 07, 1970

 
Jan Steen
Fair at Warmond, detail of altered area, 1626
oil on canvas
44? x 71?
 
This painting by Jan Steen was brought to conservator and exhibition organizer Louis Pomerantz for cleaning. After he had determined through tests what solvents would be safest and most effective and was about a third of the way through the cleaning, he discovered some red paint on his cotton swab. Oil paint from the 17th century should have resisted the solvent he was using. Microscopic examination revealed that a squatting female figure had been repainted and the removal of the overpaint revealed the reason: with one hand under the front and one hand under the back of her skirt, she had originally been engaged in an earthy activity, typical of the subject matter of Jan Steen.
 

   
   
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Tue  Sep 29, 2020