OH museum gives close view of van Gogh restoration

May 23, 2011 - 8:28 AM

CINCINNATI (AP) — An art historian has put himself on display at an Ohio museum as he works to restore an 1890 painting by Vincent van Gogh (goh).

Visitors to the Cincinnati Art Museum can watch as chief conservator Per Knutas (payr kuh-NOO'-tahs) slowly and carefully removes wax that was applied in the 1970s to the masterpiece, "Undergrowth with Two Figures." The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the microscope he's using for the very detailed work is hooked up to a 42-inch flat screen monitor, so patrons can follow his progress up close.

Wax was put on the back of the painting to protect the canvas and secure the paint. But Knutas says some of the wax seeped to the front surface, obscuring van Gogh's vibrant colors.

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Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com