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on 18 May 2011 12:26 PM

did the old masters varnish their works? what problems are there if you do not varnish?

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KatPaints wrote
on 18 May 2011 5:19 PM


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trumantesta wrote
on 8 Sep 2012 2:24 AM

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Varnish is a final layer applied to a painting after it is finished and dry. It is used on paintings which are not going to be framed under glass to protect them from dirt, dust, and pollution in the environment. Varnish also homogenizes the final appearance of a painting, making it all equally glossy or matte.

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ivo55 wrote
on 13 Nov 2012 2:18 PM


Yes the old masters did relay on varnish to preserve their paintings. In fact most of them to the middle of the renaissance have used "egg tempera" which needed to be varnish in order to be preserved. Problems ? They are  many.

Visit some restoration I have don on ikons

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on 24 Nov 2012 11:35 AM

Today there is absolutely no technical need to varnish oil paintings. In the past that was important as the permanence of paint properties was poor. 

The main reason to varnish today is aesthetic. Sometimes it is good to varnish locally dark areas where it is complicated to check the tone.


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