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Kunsthaus Zürich

Félix Vallotton

The restoration work

  1. Consolidating the paint layer


Following detailed microscopic and macroscopic examination, tests were carried out to find the appropriate agent to consolidate the loose areas. It was important that the consolidating agent should ensure sufficient adhesion but without causing darkening or glossiness of the paintwork or further tensions between the individual layers.

Procedure:
The slightly warmed consolidating agent was introduced into the craquelure and under the protruding flakes of paint using a fine brush and then levelled with a small heated spatula. (see top illustration)

The painting was checked section by section under the microscope for loose areas and consolidated where necessary.

The painting was then subjected to slightly moist cleaning, during which older areas of slightly discoloured retouching were also removed.
Areas of paint loss were repaired using a mixture of chalk and glue (see lower illustration) and retouched with gouache paints that dried matt. To even out the level of glossiness, the retouched areas were then coated with a thin varnish.

Extra protection was then applied to the rear of the painting to better protect it and the paintwork against shocks and vibrations during transport. This involved inserting a fleece between the back of the canvas and the rear side protection to reduce movement of the canvas.

During consolidation using the heated spatula and Hostaphan film.
During consolidation using the heated spatula and Hostaphan film.
Areas of paint loss after puttying (white patches)
Areas of paint loss after puttying (white patches)