Visit the Conservator

Stories from the conservator. Paper

In this section, conservators at SMK describe the conservation that they carry out as part of their day-to-day work, in small, short stories. The tasks are wide-ranging, and these stories cover the treatment and investigation of many artworks of very different character and condition.

Discover stories about art work on paper from the conservator

Before conservation: The complete drawing seen in symmetrical light

Putting a Delacroix puzzle back together

Back in the mid-nineteenth century the French artist Eugene Delacroix created this drawing of The Archangel Michael Vanquishing Satan. The drawing was executed in graphite (pencil) with washes in black, white and red. It is one of several preliminary studies for a ceiling mural in the church of Saint-Sulpice in Paris, and today the drawing is part of the collection of French art at Ny Carlsbergs Glyptotek in Copenhagen.

Read about the conservators work

The conservation of a fragile woodcut print

When performing conservation treatments on works of art on paper, the conservator often encounters difficult challenges.

Read about the conservation of a woodcut print made by the Danish painter and graphic artist Aksel Jørgensen

Flattening bumpy paper – a restoration project in pictures

Whenever a work of art is due to be put on display it will first be checked by a conservator. The conservator will assess its condition, and decide on whether treatment is required before the work is presented to the public.

See the conservators work

From Roll to Wall – mounting a huge work on paper

Large-scale artworks can impress us simply by virtue of their sheer size, but at the same time they also pose a particular challenge to conservators

Read about how the artwork Waves Over Graves by Ferdinand Ahm Krag came from roll to wall

Madonna attacked by fungus

Paper is a perfect medium for the growth of fungus, when high humidity is present. The fungus cannot be removed, as it has spread its hyphae net into both the porous paint layer and the paper.

Read about how conservators removed fungus from a Madonna painting

A woodcut in a bath - preparation of a 468-year-old hunting scene

As part of the preparation for SMK'swoodcut exhibition in 2012, many different prints were brought out of storage and into the conservation workshops.

Read more about the restoration of a 468-year-old woodcut

Christen Købke

Danish Golden Age painter Christen Købke's sketches for the large painting View of a Street in Østerbro outside Copenhagen. Morning Light have been brought from storage to the conservation department.

Read about how the works have been studied and restored

Yvette Guilberts unwanted freckles

In 1894 the French cabaret singer and actress Yvette Guilbert, had the honour of being portrayed by the painter and graphic artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, in an album of 16 colour lithographs with accompanying text.

Straightening out the Queen Juliane Marie – a conservation process in pictures

How does a conservator flatten a dented piece of art without touching the colour layer?

Master Drawings with Self-destructive Ink

One of the big conservation problems at Statens Museum for Kunst is that many of the finest foreign and Danish drawings are executed with a self-destructive type of ink: iron gall ink.

Read about the iron gall ink

A French Master Drawing

The paper conservators at The National Gallery of Denmark, SMK, have carried out preventive conservation of the museum’s French master drawings.

Read about the french master drawings

Pastels, charcoal- and chalk drawings: a porous research project

Did you know that a chalk drawing looks like velvet when seen under a microscope?

Read about a research project which will help safeguard some of the Museum’s works

Updated: 26.apr.2018
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