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Renewed Masterpieces

The paintings below show paintings where the original has been so badly damaged that they deserved to be seen as they once were. These are my attempts at restoring the paintings back to how they would have looked when they were new. As far as I know this has never been attempted with these paintings before. A great deal of research and technical investigation has had to be carried out in order to make these ‘restorations’ possible.


Click a picture to see a larger view.


The original of this painting by Johannes Vermeer called The Concert was* in very poor condition, having been heavily abraded and poorly restored in the past. Though some parts of the painting remained in good condition, most of the painting has suffered badly, and Vermeer's beautiful tones and colours had been lost. By copying and restoring at the same time this is my attempt to recreate what the painting looked like when it was new.

As with all my ‘old master’ paintings, totally authentic materials and techniques were used to make it, including the use of hand-ground colours such as genuine (and expensive) ultramarine and vermilion.

*In 1990 the original painting was stolen and has not been recovered. I hope my use of the past tense is unjustified and that it will be recovered one day.

The original of this painting, part of the series of paintings on The Battle of San Romano by Paolo Uccello, has suffered many accidents and indignities since it was painted over 500 years ago and as a result it has changed considerably. This is my recreation of what it looked like when new. It is an educated guess which is as much based on historical research as it is on my imagination and knowledge of the period.

On the original (in London’s National Gallery) many of the colours have darkened, and all of the silver leaf has tarnished to a dark brown or grey. Worst of all, the top half of the painting was sawn off at some point in the past and we don't know what it looked like, but we do know it had an asymmetrical arched top shaped like this.

My recreation was mostly done in authentic egg tempera paint. A great deal of gold and silver leaf was used to create this very large and complex painting. It now hangs in a private collection in Canada.

This painting was painted for a programme in the BBC TV series ‘The Private Life of a Masterpiece’, in a programme dedicated to The Battle of San Romano. In this documentary I demonstrated Uccello’s techniques and talked about Uccello’s contribution to the early renaissance.

See the page on the TV programme for more about this painting