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The Reverse Side of Paintings

Discoveries on the reverse side of paintings sometimes reveal the true story behind a pretty facade  

Paper stuck to the reverse of paintings and their frames is well intended. It is meant to be a protective barrier between the work of art and the elements. Many commercial framers argue that it protects the work, keeps the dust out and looks a lot neater”. Unfortunately over time the paper  becomes a hazard itself. Fish moths get attracted to the adhesive of the tape and contribute to further damage (insect infestation).

The paper traps moisture, the dust still get in and it takes for ever to remove it.

Paper stuck to the reverse of paintings and their frames

Paper stuck to the reverse

Paper stuck  removed

Paper removed – valuable information revealed

Once the paper is removed, interesting information about the painting’s history can be revealed. In this case, the Artist’s name and address, the name of the person portrayed, a sales price and two custom stamps.

The removed mass of paper

Dust is one of the greatest contributors to the decay of artworks.

 Dust and solid objects can settled between the bottom member of the stretcher and the canvas. This can cause tenting and paint-loss on the front of the work.