Innovation and Visualization: Trajectories, Strategies, and Myths

By Amy Ione | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Chapter 12
Viewing the Past:
Conservation and Restoration Studies

The history of painting is the history of visual ideas expressed in
material form Physical transformation begins the moment a
painting is completed. Changes result from interaction of the
artist’s materials, from exposure to light and ordinary atmospheric
conditions, such as seasonal humidity changes, as well as from
extraordinary conditions such as fire and floods. Human
intervention causes other significant changes, as when offensive
subject matter is removed or obscured; artworks are reworked in
an updated style; ensembles are disassembled, as with altarpieces;
canvases are cut down; and works are restored, even with the best

Andrea Kirsh and Rustin S. Levinsen,
Seeing Through Paintings: Physical Examination in Art
Historical Studies

In the first chapter I suggested that a visit to an art conservation laboratory would quickly expose a history hard to decipher from our first impression of a work. Here trained practitioners preserve artifacts that might range from paintings and woodcuts to photographs and projects constructed using pixels or video. Efforts to maintain these products, our human heritage, rely on tools that remind us that many technologies of recent origin allow us to look beneath the surface appearance of these objects. Moreover, technological advances can place us in a number of eras, as the range of apparatus artists use show. In the conservator’s laboratory we find instruments like infrared cameras as well as mortars, pestles and ground pigments. This variety allows us to envision the tantalizing ways in which the technologies of old now meet those of today.

1. Conservation and Preservation

In the introduction to this book I wrote about how differently people might respond when visiting a conservation laboratory. All that an examination of X-ray images brings to light might fascinate an


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Innovation and Visualization: Trajectories, Strategies, and Myths


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 271

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?