Why Cleaning your Oil Painting is Important

Cleaning the painting allows the colors and details of the artwork to be seen and appreciated the way the artist originally intended them to look. People may ask - “But aren’t you destroying the patina of the painting by cleaning it?” When people refer to patina they are often talking about the “golden glow”, the look of yellowed varnish over a painting as well as the dirt that gradually over time becomes ingrained in the paint, thus clouding the details and dulling the colors. In oil paintings, “true patina” refers to the progressive darkening of the paint caused by the oil it contains and also the craquelure, a fine network of cracks that develops over time in a painting. An old painting conveys something of the personality of the painter and to bring these out to the fullest is more important than to preserve years of dirt and aged varnish. The true patina, craquelure and darkening of the paint will be preserved when correctly cleaned.
Posted on April 17, 2010 and filed under "Joe Abbrescia Jr", "art restoration", "fix oil paintings on canvas".