Ever since the 1770's, Douwes Fine Art has been involved, hand's on, with all aspects of restoration and its ongoing technical innovations.
We will gladly offer free and non-committal advice on all restoration issues. Every restoration is preceded by giving the client a clear understanding of the work required, the duration of the project and the overall cost. We will advise the client on the relationship between added value and (additional) cost. Once agreed, a departure from the original proposal is only made in close cooperation with the client. If asked for, the exact procedure followed during restoration will be explained to the client and if possible, demonstrated. Clients can also request a report on the actual restoration process, including photographs and an objective evaluation of the condition of the painting being restored.
Upon your request we insure your paintings during the restoration period.
At Douwes Fine Art you will find years of individual experience with all kinds of easel pictures, ranging from early Flemish panel painting to modern day canvases executed in mixed media. All paintings that are entrusted into the care of Douwes Fine Art are skillfully restored in one of two well equipped workshops.
Panels are treated with modern glues and resins. Worn out canvases are backed on purpose-built relining tables. Darkened layers of varnish are carefully removed using a sophisticated mixture of solvents. Damages to the paint layer are filled up and retouched with modern and reversible mediums. Finally, if necessary, the paintings are given a thin coat of durable varnish. A professional team of restorers know exactly how to combine the use of traditional and modern restoration techniques. The restorers understand the unique aspects of each individual piece of art they are working on. They respect the principles of reversibility, i.e. ideally a restoration must be able to be undone without causing harm to, or change the original work of art.
We aim to maintain or restore the original appearance of a painting. Therefore, as a general rule, we retouch as sparsely and as invisibly as possible, always taking care to use reversible paints. We reline in both traditional and modern ways, using warm and cold methods to fuse canvases, using both traditional wax and resin methods, as well as modern thermoplastic glues. What the most suitable method ends up being always depends on the piece of art at hand.
The following steps are typical for a complete restoration:
- Surface cleaning
- Varnish removal
- Repair of tears and holes
- Repair of wooden supports
Innovative technique: laser cleaning
restoration of a painted coat of arms