First day as an Intern – Nele Thorrez

Intern Nele Thorrez
Nationality: Belgian
Studies: Master Degree: audio visual and visual art, department Photography, Sint-Lukas, Brussels

On a 4 month internship funded by
On the first day of my internship Iwas able to see the restoration of a painting.

I need to say: Waw!
I’ve never seen it before, nor have I ever thought about how much time goes in it (the precision, the patience, a good eye and passion).
The day before the restoration I went to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow, there I could see video’s and read about restorations. When I read and saw it, I was just thinking: “I really need to see this in real life once”.
Et voila, the next day I could.
The painting was of Caroline of Anspach, queen of George II, made in the 18th century. The painting still looks good for the age it is. But because of a recent visitor accident it needed to be fixed.

Catherine of Anspach restoration
First of all we needed to take the painting down and I needed to help with that. My honest thoughts? I thought it would be a painting that we could carry easily… until I saw it. Really, 2 times my size(Ok, maybe not… But it was really big). But anyway, we got it down and ready to be fixed.

Conservation repair - Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum DSC_1221

A restoration is a very carefully, slow and precise process, it took two days to repair the painting (you can’t force art, it needs time and patience).

At Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum you could see how they removed varnish and dirt, so we could see the actual colors that faded with time. But you couldn’t see how they fixed a hole in a painting. I had the honour to see it here at the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum and what a sight it was! I can’t really talk about the technical stuff, but I can tell you this: It was pure magic.

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