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Thursday, May 30 • 5:00pm - 5:30pm
(Paintings + Research and Technical Studies) Rediscovering Color; Treatment, Analysis and Digital Restoration of Vincent Van Gogh’s Undergrowth with Two Figures

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One of the most revered paintings in the Cincinnati Art Museum, Vincent van Gogh’s Undergrowth with two figures/Sous bois, painted in the last month of his life in 1890, was requested for loan in 2011. Found to be structurally sound upon examination, the painting’s visual appearance was neverthe-less compromised as a result of a wax lining administered in 1975. Treatment was proposed to remove a significant amount of wax and an inappropriate varnish layer. Given the painting’s popularity with visitors, Chief Conservator Per Knutås proposed to treat the painting while on view. Pre-treatment research, later confirmed during treatment, indicated the composition once included pink flowers − now effectively faded; possibly the fugitive geranium lake favored by Van Gogh. This question prompted the Cincinnati Museum of Art to propose a collaborative investigation with the Conservation Science Department at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in order to digitally reconstruct the painting to a state more truthful to its original conception.


Jeff Fieberg

Associate Professor, Centre College
avatar for Per Knutås

Per Knutås

Chief Conservator, Cleveland Museum of Art
Per Knutås is the Eric and Jane Nord Chief Conservator at the Cleveland Museum of Art where he oversees a department of 15 conservators and conservation technicians. He graduated from The School of Conservation at the Royal Danish Academy of Art, in Copenhagen, Denmark with a focus on modern contemporary paintings. Knutås worked at the Moderna Museet and the Swedish National Heritage Board, both in Stockholm, Sweden, prior to moving to New York... Read More →

Gregory D. Smith

Otto N. Frenzel III Senior Conservation Scientist, Indianapolis Museum of Art
Gregory Dale Smith received a B.S. degree from Centre College of Kentucky in anthropology/sociology and chemistry before pursuing graduate studies at Duke University as an NSF graduate fellow in time-domain vibrational spectroscopy and archaeological fieldwork. His postgraduate training included investigations of pigment degradation processes and palette studies of illuminated manuscripts at the British Library and the V & A Museum, development... Read More →

Thursday May 30, 2013 5:00pm - 5:30pm
JW Marriott White River Ballroom F 10 S West St Indianapolis, IN 46204