The Clara Hexall

American Anon. ca 1850

Painting before Restoration

Painting before Restoration

Painting  after restoration

Painting after restoration

Prior to treatment, the canvas was dried-out and brittle, torn along the tacking edges and had numerous tears with flaking paint. The painting was covered by an thin old resin-oil varnish which was only slightly discolored and a thick hardened gray grime layer. In this case the old (probably original) varnish was left on the painting and only the grime layer was removed. The photographs above clearly illustrate how the removal of a grime layer can make a large difference.


  • The loose paint around the tears was consolidated with brush applications of adhesive
  • The grime layer was removed from the painting surface
  • The canvas was pre-flattened with controlled moisture and weights
  • The tears were realigned and were held together with small patches of mulberry paper and adhesive
  • The painting was lined onto a secondary linen canvas to reinforce the canvas structure
  • The missing areas of paint were filled
  • A new varnish was applied to the painting
  • The areas of loss were retouched
Sherman Art Conservation
221 Sea Cliff Ave., Sea Cliff New York 11579