Ernest Dreyfuss Still Life With Mandolin

This still life by Ernest Dreyfuss (1903-1977) was suffering from significant delimitation issues. Large areas of paint had lifted from the canvas, and some had even fallen off. The original varnish had yellowed which greatly altered the color tones.

The painting was de-fit and then where delamination had occurred, hydration was applied in the form of a restorer’s adhesive. This required the use of a syringe as pockets of paint film had lifted and it was important to address the whole pocket and not just the edges. Lost paint film was fitted back into place, and blotters weighted the areas to give a firm bond for the adhesive.

To strengthen the foundation, Belgian linen was attached to the existing linen, and then deep and careful cleaning removed the surface contaminates and the yellowed varnish.

The painting is now in the final stages, only a few places left that need to be in-painted. A custom frame is also being decided upon. Stay tuned for more…

Ernst Emmanuel Dreyfuss was born in Frankfurt, Germany on January 1, 1903. He trained as a painter and became a disciple of Max Beckmann and Ugi Battenberg. Dreyfuss survived Buchenwald and fled from Nazi Germany in 1940, spending a year in England, and then immigrating to the US in 1941. He settled in Hyde Park, Chicago, IL, where, as an eccentric neighborhood painter, he allegedly served as the inspiration for a character in one of Saul Bellow’s Chicago Stories. Dreyfuss ceased painting in 1971. He married and subsequently divorced Ms. Anne Battaglia, and was survived by one cousin, which at the time of his death in 1977 resided in South Africa.

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