The Ravished Image or How to Ruin Masterpieces by Restoration by Sarah Walden
London : Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1985. First U.K. Edition, first printing. Hardcover. 174 pages ; 22 cm. 12 pound and 95 shilling dust jacket with minimal wear. Light foxing to dust jacket verso. Lean to spine. Foxing to top pages edge. Pages are clean and unmarked. Binding is firm.
From the Dust Jacket :
Can 'conservation' do more harm than good? The restoration of paintings is a neglected debate. In this passionately argued book, Sarah Walden challenges institutionalized orthodoxies and calls for a halt to the systematic cleaning and stripping of paintings, forcing them into conveyor-belt conformity to twentieth-century values. She appeals for restraint and for increased respect for each painting's individuality.
Goethe and Goya, Degas and Delacroix, they too registered their indignation at the over-enthusiastic cleaning of old masters. Today the dangers are far greater. Restoration is largely left to the technicians and, after a number of disasters, there is a growing feeling that too much is being done with too little reflection.
Until now protest has been sporadic and ineffectual; informed discussion sparse. Sarah Walden, as one of Britain's foremost restorers, is ideally placed to re-open the debate. This is not a technical manual but an imaginative historical, philosophical and practical presentation of the issues, illustrated by anecdotes and illuminated by the author's intense concern for the salvation of our irreplaceable artistic heritage.
Sarah Walden - art historian, picture restorer and conservation consultant - has worked for over twenty years on major collections in Europe, including at the Louvre and in America, cleaning paintings ranging from those of Vermeer to those of Picasso. She trained at the Courtauld Institute in London and at the Istituto del Restauro in Rome and has lectured at Harvard University in the United States. She is a fellow of the International Institute of Conservation.
Professor Sir Ernst Gombrich, former Slade Professor of Art at Cambridge University and Director of the Warburg Institute is one of Britain's most eminent art historians.
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