Art Expert Removes 200-Year-Old Yellowing Varnish From A 399-Year-Old Painting, And The Difference Is Unbelievable

A protective finish is applied to keep paintings safe from wear, but they will discolor as a result of time going by. About two hundred years ago, someone coated a 1618 oil portrait of an unknown lady with a thick layer of varnish and it wasn’t until recently that the true colors of the artwork were unearthed. Art expert and host of the BBC One show Fake or Fortune Philip Mould shared footage with his followers, revealing the careful removal of the protective varnish from the painting, and the transformation looks stunning.

“A remarkable Jacobean re-emergence after 200 years of yellowing varnish,” he wrote on Twitter. Most details of the “Woman in Red” are lost, and all that we know is that she was 36 years old at the time. While art restoration sometimes takes a terribly wrong turn, the presenter demonstrated a high level of expertise when revealing the lush colors hiding under the protective finish.

“The painting was originally in a private collection in England,” Mould told The Telegraph. “We started restoration of the painting <…> after extensive testing of the varnish on an oil surface on oak panel. A mixture of gel and solvent was created, specifically just to remove the varnish and not to damage the underlying paint. It’s different from normal restoration, with the gel suspending the solvent and working in a more controllable way.”

More info: Twitter

About two hundred years ago, someone coated a 1618 oil portrait of an unknown lady with a thick layer of varnish

It wasn’t until recently that the true colors of the artwork were unearthed

“We started restoration of the painting <…> after extensive testing of the varnish on an oil surface on oak panel”

“A mixture of gel and solvent was created, specifically just to remove the varnish and not to damage the underlying paint”

“It’s different from normal restoration, with the gel suspending the solvent and working in a more controllable way”

Most details of the “Woman in Red” are lost, and all that we know is that she was 36 years old at the time

To get the full satisfaction watch the video below

Most people were quick to celebrate the astonishing results

But some criticized the art historian for his “dangerous and irresponsible” approach

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Banksy auction prank leaves art world in shreds

Banksy has played what could be one of the most audacious pranks in art history, arranging for one of his best-known works to self-destruct after being sold at auction for just over £1m.

Girl With Balloon was the final item in an auction at Sotheby’s in London on Friday night and its sale price equalled the artist’s previous auction record of £1.04m.

Shortly after the hammer came down on the item, however, the canvas began to pass through a shredder installed in the frame.

Banksy posted an image on Instagram of the shredded work dangling from the bottom of the frame with the title “Going, going, gone … ”

Going, going, gone…

A post shared by Banksy (@banksy) on

“It appears we just got Banksy-ed,” said Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s senior director and head of contemporary art in Europe.

Sotheby’s said in a statement to the Financial Times: “We have talked with the successful purchaser who was surprised by the story. We are in discussion about next steps.”

The auction house declined to reveal the identity of the buyer.

It is unclear whether the prank will have destroyed or enhanced the value of the work.

The website, which resells Banksy pieces, said Girl with Balloon had enjoyed annual increases in value of about 20% in recent years. “Prices now are regularly exceeding £115,000 for signed authenticated prints,” said its co-founder Joey Syer.

“The auction result will only propel this further and given the media attention this stunt has received, the lucky buyer would see a great return on the £1.02m they paid last night.

“This is now part of art history in its shredded state and we’d estimate Banksy has added at a minimum 50% to its value, possibly as high as being worth £2m plus.”

Girl With Balloon, which was last year voted the UK’s best-loved work of art, first appeared on a wall in Great Eastern Street in Shoreditch, east London. The 2006 gallery version featured spray paint and acrylic on canvas, mounted on a board.

The true identity of the Bristol-born artist has never been officially revealed despite wide speculation.

He rose to fame with graffiti that appeared on buildings across the UK, often marked by deeply satirical undertones.

Two new artworks appeared at the Barbican Centre in central London in September 2017 inspired by an upcoming Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibition.

A woman passes one of the Banksy murals near the Barbican Centre. Photograph: David Mirzoeff/PA

Announcing the new artworks in a series of Instagram posts, the artist said: “Major new Basquiat show opens at the Barbican – a place that is normally very keen to clean any graffiti from its walls.” The work has since been protected by perspex panes.

One of Banksy’s more elaborate jokes came just over three years ago when he opened Dismaland, a “family theme park unsuitable for small children”, on the seafront at Weston-super-Mare.

People visit Dismaland. Photograph: Natasha Quarmby/Rex/Shutterstock

The Guardian described it at the time as “sometimes hilarious, sometimes eye-opening and occasionally breathtakingly shocking”.


Kate Spade, fashion designer, found dead in apparent suicide

Over time, she distanced herself from her business.

In 1999, she and her husband, Andy Spade, sold 56% of the brand to Neiman Marcus for $33.6 million. Liz Claiborne acquired the company in 2007, and Spade left her namesake brand. The luxury fashion company Coach announced plans in May 2017 to buy Kate Spade for $2.4 billion.

Kate Spade New York issued a statement confirming the “incredibly sad news” of their eponymous founder’s death.

“Although Kate has not been affiliated with the brand for more than a decade, she and her husband and creative partner, Andy, were the founders of our beloved brand,” the statement said. “Kate will be dearly missed. Our thoughts are with Andy and the entire Spade family at this time.”

“We honor all the beauty she brought into this world,” the company said in a tweet.

— kate spade new york (@katespadeny) June 5, 2018

Spade was found hanged by a scarf she allegedly tied to a doorknob, an NYPD source said.

My grandmother gave me my first Kate Spade bag when I was in college. I still have it. Holding Kate’s family, friends and loved ones in my heart.

— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) June 5, 2018

Kate Spade’s tragic passing is a painful reminder that we never truly know another’s pain or the burden they carry. If you are struggling with depression and contemplating suicide, please, please seek help.

— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) June 5, 2018

“Everyone remembers their first Kate Spade,” CNN White House reporter and former fashion editor Kate Bennett said. “(The brand) became one of those accessible but quirky fun, timeless labels that everyone had to have, and her rise was synonymous with her name.”

For many women, a Kate Spade handbag functioned as a symbol of professional achievement.

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— ℂ𝕙𝕒𝕪𝕒 (@ChayaBaliga) June 5, 2018

I was 22 when I moved to NYC and got my first real job and it even paid overtime. My first check that had OT hours in it, I set aside that money and bought myself a @katespadeny bag. It was 1998 and I felt so proud and successful. #RIPKateSpade ♥️

— alyssa mastromonaco (@AlyssaMastro44) June 5, 2018

“She was a great talent who had an immeasurable impact on American fashion and the way the world viewed American accessories,” the statement said.

Cindi Leive, a former editor-in-chief of Glamour magazine, said that part of Spade’s legacy is that she put her entire personality into her work.

“She understood that women are going to respond to things that feel like they’re made by a human, that they are expressing someone’s personality,” Leive said.

“If you put a pulse into it and every fiber of your being, people are going to respond. Now, that’s kind of a given. Everybody wants to create their own personal lifestyle brand,” she added. “But that was new at the time, and in a lot of ways, the contemporary version of it really came from her.”

2002: Kate Spade on her fashion inspiration

2002: Kate Spade on her fashion inspiration

Conversation at restaurant inspired Spade

“So, Andy and I were out, honestly, at a Mexican restaurant,” Kate Spade said, “and he just said, what about handbags? And I said, honey, you just don’t start a handbag company. And he said, why not? How hard can it be? (Laughter) I thought, OK, really? He regrets those words.”

The suicide rate in the United States has seen sharp increases in recent years. It’s now the 10th leading cause of death in the country, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Studies have shown that the risk of suicide declines sharply when people call the national suicide hotline: 1-800-273-TALK

The lines are staffed by a mix of paid professionals and unpaid volunteers trained in crisis and suicide intervention. The confidential environment, the 24-hour accessibility, a caller’s ability to hang up at any time and the person-centered care have helped its success, advocates say.

Joe Zee, a fashion journalist who had worked with Spade, recalled her telling him of the vision to start the handbag line.

“This wasn’t something women did or just anyone really did back then in the early ’90s,” he told CNN. “And to quit a coveted magazine editor’s job to really be able to do that … it was so visionary and so ahead of its time.”

“She always had such a great ray of light about her. She was so jovial,” Zee said.

Spade’s apparent suicide comes as suicide rates in the United States increased from 1999 to 2014 for everyone between the ages of 10 and 74, according to a 2016 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For white women, the suicide rate increased by 60% during that period, the study found.

Police responded at 10:10 a.m. after Spade was found by her housekeeper, NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said. A suicide note was found at the scene, he said. Spade addressed her daughter in the note, according to two NYPD sources. Spade’s husband also is referenced in the note, according to one of the sources.

The designer, 55, started Kate Spade New York in 1993 and opened her first shop in the city three years later, the company’s website states.

“Debuting with just six silhouettes, she combined sleek, utilitarian shapes and colorful palettes in an entirely new way,” the site says.

Best known for its colorful handbags, Kate Spade New York has more than 140 retail shops and outlet stores across the United States and more than 175 stores internationally, the site states.

CNN’s Carolyn Sung, David William, Aaron Cooper, Elizabeth Joseph and Darran Simon contributed to this report.