Bernardo Bellotto, View of Dresden
Bernardo Bellotto (1721-1780)
View of Dresden, ca. 1748
Oil on canvas, 96.8x163
Collection Tel Aviv Museum of Art
Restoration Process: 1.5 years
Restoration completed in 2006
Painting Conservator: Maya Dresner
Main Reasons for Conservation
A former poor restoration process caused old retouching to become darker and form stains, making it difficult to view the work. Heavy and discolored varnish concealed the original colors of the paint. The canvas had become distorted since its lining had deteriorated and needed to be removed.
It was necessary to stop the deterioration and to reveal the original colors of the painting that were covered by previous restoration.
Two-Stage Restoration Process
The first stage involved removal (cleaning) of old restoration: layer of old varnish, retouching and lining.
At this stage, it was discovered that almost 50% of the original paint layer was missing mainly in the sky. (This may have been the reason for the old restoration.) In places where the paint layer was missing, the red ground became noticeable. Therefore,in the second stage, in addition to the treatment of the canvas and its re-stretching, the main part of the conservation process involved a careful retouching of the missing paint layer, as shown in the illustrations.