What does it look like to dissolve hundreds of years of gunk off an oil painting? A video posted Monday by Fake or Fortune? host, art dealer, and art historian Philip Mould has dropped jaws.
The video shows an oil painting having preservation work done. In a matter of seconds, 200 years of yellowing varnish is washed away to reveal the crisp, beautiful work underneath.
Varnish is applied to help preserve and protect paintings, but over time it will start to yellow. In this case, it seems to have even gone a little brown. There are a variety of practices, but working off and reapplying a varnish isn't uncommon. When you see the subject's earring appear from under the varnish, it's instantly clear why this is being done.