Watch This Art Dealer Clean 200 Years’ Worth Of Gunk Off A Classic Painting

Joe Welkie
art dealer removed varnish
(Photo: art dealer removed varnish)

As this art dealer removed varnish from a 200-year-old painting, he recorded a video of the experience. He just wanted to chronicle his actions, but, little did he know, the internet would soon go crazy as they watched him give this painting new life.

Philip Mould, an art historian with a knack for bringing out the best in old paintings, posted this video on Twitter, showing exactly how the process of restoring a painting works. He applies a special, jelly-like solvent, and simply wipes the grime and dirt away with ease. It’s pretty spectacular to see.

Mould really brought out how the painting was originally intended to be seen. It’s amazing (and intensely satisfying) to watch the cleaning happen before your eyes as he wipes away decades of yellowed varnish.