Cleaning a painting involves the removal of dirt and grime layers as well as the removal of degraded varnish layers. The process reveals the original colours and increases the legibility of the painting. The cleaning of the painting can be necessary for its future conservation.
Varnish removal in progress Detail, oil on canvas, 18th century.
Dirt removal in progress Detail, painting on paper lined on canvas, 20th century.
Varnish removal in progress Detail, oil on canvas, 19th century.
Dry and wet cleaning Details, engraving, 19th century.
Dry cleaning (top) followed by wet cleaning (bottom).