at The University of Chicago
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Know What You See

October 06 – November 07, 1970

Jan Steen
Fair at Warmond, original, 1626
oil on canvas
44? x 71?
This is an exhibition that focuses on the art conservator's techniques for examining paintings. Color transparencies and black and white photographs will illustrate what can be revelaed by such photo-optical techniques as x-ray, infrared, and ultraviolet light, and microscopic examination. These techniqes can show the artist's sketches on canvas, how the artist changed his/her mind when working, later changes, additions, deletions, what can be learned from crack patterns, and how originals differ from copies.

Original works will demonstrate the results of restoration. One is "Judith," a painting by Giovanni Martinelli from the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. A recent cleaning of this painting revealed a second figure that had been painted out. Another is an untitled village scene by Jan Steen, an investigation of which showed that a female figure was repainted into a more decorous position. A third is a pastel drawing of a dancer by Edgar Degas that had been altered by a dealer to make it easier to sell. The drawing was restored to its original state by removing the top layer of pastel.

The exhibition is organized by Louis Pomerantz. After being shown at The Society, the exhibition will tour Illinois.


The Renaissance Society
is a contemporary art
museum free and
open to the public
Sun  Jun 16, 2024