Cleaning and Restoration of an Oil Painting with a Polymer Gel in Iran

Siyamak Alizadeh


One of the major stages in the conservation and restoration of a painting is to clean its colored surface of unwanted stains, and old and darkened varnishes. Various solvents have been used to date for this purpose; however, new cleaning materials have also come onto the market in the past decade that are still unknown and may never have been employed in Iran. The present study aims to introduce a polymer gel and use an in vitro sample of the substance for cleaning and to then present the results of the tests carried out. Applying a polymer gel in the cleaning of paintings yielded better results and greater advantages over the solvents previously used to clean artworks. The advantages include, performing on the surface without penetrating the lower layers, the absence of residues after application, flexibility, solubility and the gentle removal of old stains and varnishes, maintaining clarity and cleaning the surface by simple removal of the thin dried layer, which requires no mechanical pressure. Microscopic examinations and pH testing showed that this new alternative technique can be of use in cleaning the color layers of oil paintings.


Restoration; conservation; cleaning; oil painting; polymer gel

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.1973-9494/7952


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