PAinT - Paint Alterations in Time

Overview of all paintings

Ghent Altarpiece


Jan a/o Hubert van Eyck, 1435

The Ghent Altarpiece has a long, complex, well documented restoration history. It is currently the subject of extensive examination in view of its pending conservation (2012-2016). 


Three Marys at the Tomb 


Jan a/o Hubert van Eyck, 1425-35

The Three Marys has been studied and treated for the exhibition ‘The Road to Van Eyck’ in Museum Boymans van Beuningen (starting Fall 2012).

Simeon’s Song of Praise 


Rembrandt van Rijn, 1631

During the study and treatment (2005-06) of this painting in the Mauritshuis (together with the following Homer) whitish insoluble surface deposits were encountered on the dark/translucent passages. 



Rembrandt van Rijn, 1663

During the study and treatment (2005-06) of this painting in the Mauritshuis (together with the preceding Simeon's Song of Praise) whitish insoluble surface deposits were encountered on the dark/translucent passages. 

View on Delft


Johannes Vermeer, 1660-62

In this painting in particular the paint surface of the red tiled roofs is completely covered with white-translucent globules that have erupted through the dark red paint. Recent research has demonstrated that they are the result of lead soap formation and aggregation.

The revolt of the Batavians against Roman rule

Jacob Jordaens, 1661-1666

This series of large-scale paintings in the gallery arches of the Citizen’s Hall in the Amsterdam Royal Palace has recently undergone conservation and restoration treatment (2005-09).

The Regents of the St Elisabeth Hospital in Haarlem



Frans Hals, 1641

Study and treatment of the Regents’ group portrait is planned for the Hals exhibition in 2013. The last complete restoration of this painting involved the cleaning and wax-resin lining by Derix de Wild and his son Martin in the early 20th C.

Christ Blessing the Children

Family Portrait Braems-Van der Laen


Jan Salomonsz de Bray, 1663

The entire painting suffers from extensive lead soap aggregate formation. The areas in front of the stretcher bars however, are clearly affected most: the protrusions are larger and more numerous.

Group of 4 portraits

Thomas de Keyser and studio, 1600-50

Removal of varnish and overpaint from these four portraits has revealed damage related to the pigmentation of different paint layers. The dark clothes worn by the sitters appear very damaged, lead white containing passages are well preserved.



Vincent van Gogh, 1889

The binding medium of the yellow paint seems to have degraded to such an extent that it poses a serious challenge to the pending conservation and restoration (2012-13). Although the surface has formed a solid crust, the paint below is very crumbly and powdery.

Basket of Pansies


Vincent van Gogh, 1886

Van Gogh often re-used his canvases. He covered the earlier composition with a layer of lead and zinc white-based oil paint. Such intermediate layers now often extrude through cracks in the paint layers and sometimes even the varnish on top.

Couple aux têtes pleines de nuages



Salvador Dali, 1936

While placed behind glass in a frame, these paintings were incidentally exposed to relative high temperatures. During recent conservation treatment it was noted that in some areas the upper part of the paint layers had become transparent and covered with little droplets.



Piet Mondrian, 1909

Numerous pits/cavities are observed in the surface of the yellow cadmium paint in Seascape. Some of these pits are open craters that reveal a crumbly paint underneath. The binding medium of the cadmium yellow paint seems to have degraded completely.




Piet Mondrian, 1911

The surface of the cadmium yellow paint in Evolution appears very deformed: the paint has lifted, forming tunnel-like structures. These structures are not filled with paint material. Some of them have collapsed and a crumbly paint is found underneath.

Published by  HIMS

21 September 2012