At Douwes Fine Art, we offer decades of professional experience in all kinds of easel pictures, ranging from early Flemish panel paintings to modern day canvases executed in mixed media. All paintings that are entrusted to the care of Douwes Fine Art are skilfully restored in one of two well equipped workshops. Panels are treated with modern glues and resins. Worn out canvases are backed on purpose-built relining tables. Darkened layers of varnish are carefully removed using a sophisticated mixture of solvents. Damages to the paint layer are filled up and retouched with modern and reversible mediums. Finally, the paintings are given a thin coat of durable varnish, if necessary. A professional team of restorers know exactly how to combine the use of traditional and modern restoration techniques, as well as understand the unique aspects of each individual piece of art they are working on. They also respect the principles of reversibility, i.e. ideally a restoration must be able to be undone without causing harm to, or changing the original work of art.
We aim to maintain or restore the original appearance of a painting. Therefore, as a general rule, we retouch as sparsely and as invisibly as possible, always taking care to use reversible paints. We reline in both traditional and modern styles, employing warm and cold methods to fuse canvases, using both traditional wax and resin methods, as well as modern thermoplastic glues. We have extensive experience with panels and wood restoration. Furthermore, we can also work with marouflé techniques if needed. What the most suitable method ends up being always depends on the piece of art at hand.
The following steps are typical for a complete restoration:
- Surface cleaning
- Varnish removal
- Repair of tears and holes
- Repair of wooden supports
Today we focus on five centuries of paintings and are proud of the fact that we can provide a complete service and offer expert restorations spanning such an extensive timeline. We are competitive in price and you are welcome to inquire about estimates and timing/deadlines of the work! Our restorations include research and more precision in the attribution of your objects. We provide condition reports, photography and guidance towards framing, insurance and anything else.