http://www.kunsthaus.ch/en/the-collection/conservation/examples-from-the-world-of-art-conservation/the-restoration-reasons-and-objectives/?redirect_url=title%3DPuttying

Kunsthaus Zürich

Ferdinand Hodler

The conservation treatment: reasons and objectives

Detail of the right half of the face: areas with a lot of tiny paint loss
Detail of the right half of the face: areas with a lot of tiny paint loss

The painting exhibited a range of conservational problems prior to conservation treatment. Owing to the technique used in painting it, the paint had lost adhesion to the canvas in almost every part of the picture. The heavily cracked paint layer showed evidence of dishing and was flaking off in thin areas.
There were numerous tiny areas of paint loss throughout the picture. Some of these flaws had already been extensively painted over.

 

 

 

 

 

Discoloured overpaint in the black cloak of the figure to the left of Truth
Discoloured overpaint in the black cloak of the figure to the left of Truth

These areas of overpaint had become discoloured over time and marred the overall aesthetic impression.

 

 

 

 

 

Dishing of the paint layer to the left next to Truth.
Cupping of the paint layer in the area to the left hand side of Truth.

The aim of the conservation treatment was a large-scale consolidation and stabilization of the extremely matt paintwork.

Additionally, chips in the paint layer were to be closed and retouched, while the old and discoloured areas of overpaint were to be either removed or shaded to match the surrounding paintwork.