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Subject: Oil painting cleaned with onion

Oil painting cleaned with onion

From: Barbara Appelbaum <aandh>
Date: Monday, April 1, 1996
Kenneth Schaudt <schaudt [at] neosoft__com> writes

>A friend inherited an oil painting by a well know artist from
>Denmark. It is approximately 100 years old. It was very blackened
>from hanging for all it's years over a fireplace. The new owner was
>told to clean it, he should slice a Spanish onion in half and rub
>over the painting, repeating with fresh onion until cleaned. This he
>did. What an exquisite painting revealed.

Probably the onion just took off surface dirt and left a little oil
on the surface so that any existing varnish became more
transparent. In order to avoid future problems with cross-linking and
yellowing of whatever was left from the onion, the surface should
be cleaned with damp cotton.  It may require something a little
stronger (like a drop of detergent in the water) to get all the
stuff off.  *If* the surface left isn't as transparent as it was,
then the painting probably needs a coat of varnish.

Barbara Appelbaum

                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 9:68
                  Distributed: Tuesday, April 2, 1996
                        Message Id: cdl-9-68-001
                                  ***
Received on Monday, 1 April, 1996

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