This oil painting by L. Stepano (20th Century) came in with a stubborn type of varnish. This was likely applied at some point to cover the numerous cuts across the surface, that were waiting for us once we removed the varnish. Using our gel system, a more robust cleaning method, we were able to remove the varnish. Careful cleaning then removed the surface contaminates and brightened the colors, which was a step in the right direction but also made the cuts more prominent. In-painting was then used to conceal them, and this was followed with new, conservation varnish. These last two steps will be repeated again to finish the restoration.
Unfortunately there is very little biographical information about L. Stepano. We know that he was an American artist from the 20th Century, and one of his paintings, Cattle In A Landscape, went to auction in 2017, having come from the estate of James Rees, the former President and Chief Executive Officer of George Washington’s Mount Vernon.