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Old 11-21-2008, 11:59 AM   #11
Claudemir Bonfim Claudemir Bonfim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer Bogartz
Claudemir, when you say avoid organic varnishes are you referring to Damar varnish?
Sorry, I meant "completely organic" like the egg white mixed with salt.

Some guys like Damar, I personally think that it yellows too fast, but other guys haven't experienced the same problem, I think that's due to climate differences, it is very humid here in Brazil.

Hope everything will be okay with your experience now.
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Old 11-21-2008, 12:42 PM   #12
Claudemir Bonfim Claudemir Bonfim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amanda Grosjean
I never knew the Mona Lisa originally had eyebrow! I had always been told it was the fashion of the times. Interesting! It makes you wonder what other paintings have been damaged by cleaning over time.
I think we might start another thread about damaged paintings, but here's an example about the Mona Lisa.
Her portrait was painted from 1503 to 1506. Raphael loved the portrait, which was much different from the one we can see today, and he did a sketch in order to use the pose. In his sketch the woman has eyebrows.
He borrowed the pose to do Maddalena Doni's portrait.
Both women have eyebrows and you can see eyebrows in Da Vinci's work too. The point is that many of his paintings seem to have been damaged by restorers, not only eyebrows, but clothing details and skin color too.
So, as we can see, it was not a matter of fashion.
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Old 11-21-2008, 01:15 PM   #13
Jennifer Bogartz Jennifer Bogartz is offline
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Claudemir, thank you for the information! I had no idea that you could make a varnish out of egg white and salt. I know that eggs are used in egg tempera but I have never personally tried it.

Did the masters of the Renaissance use a final varnish?
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Old 11-21-2008, 06:31 PM   #14
Michael Georges Michael Georges is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer Bogartz

Did the masters of the Renaissance use a final varnish?
Yes they did. There is an entire section on varnishing in Cennino d'Andrea Cennini's book "Il Libro dell' Arte" published in the 1400s. Early varnishes were often done from amber or mastic or copal, and sometimes by mixing a solvent with a balsam such as Venice Turpentine. Damar/dammar varnish has come into primary use in the past 100 or so years.
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Old 11-21-2008, 08:36 PM   #15
Claudemir Bonfim Claudemir Bonfim is offline
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Michael is right.

Egg varnish was widely used because it was a lot easier to prepare then the other ones. The removal of egg varnish is done with a moistured rice paper applied on the surface of the painting, and then it is removed and the surface is cleaned with cotton swabs.
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Old 11-21-2008, 08:37 PM   #16
Jennifer Bogartz Jennifer Bogartz is offline
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Thank you, Michael! Do you think they intended for someone to remove the varnish to clean the painting or is that something that was developed later by conservators?
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Old 11-21-2008, 08:39 PM   #17
Jennifer Bogartz Jennifer Bogartz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claudemir Bonfim
Michael is right.

Egg varnish was widely used because it was a lot easier to prepare then the other ones. The removal of egg varnish is done with a moistured rice paper applied on the surface of the painting, and then it is removed and the surface is cleaned with cotton swabs.
That sounds like it would be less stressful to the painting than solvents. How come eggs don't go rancid?
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Old 11-21-2008, 08:40 PM   #18
Claudemir Bonfim Claudemir Bonfim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer Bogartz
Thank you, Michael! Do you think they intended for someone to remove the varnish to clean the painting or is that something that was developed later by conservators?
I still don't know what Michael is about to say, but they used the varnishes for the same reasons pointed out in this thread, protection, sunken areas, etc...
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Old 11-21-2008, 08:42 PM   #19
Claudemir Bonfim Claudemir Bonfim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer Bogartz
That sounds like it would be less stressful to the painting than solvents. How come eggs don't go rancid?
Because of the salt.
I tried it more than a decade ago and the painting still looks fine.
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Old 11-21-2008, 11:45 PM   #20
Jennifer Bogartz Jennifer Bogartz is offline
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Thank you for answering my questions. Why is it best to avoid organic varnishes like the one made out of egg white and salt?
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