Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot Landscape

This landscape by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875) has dirt particulates across the surface. Early cleaning tests indicate that it is primarily a kind of coal or soot contaminate. But the remarkable thing is that the painting was not executed on canvas, but rather on silk. The surface is smooth and sublime, and will be a joy to work on; and aside from the surface contaminates the artwork is in rather good shape considering its age. The frame has damage to one of its corner on the underside. Stay tuned fore more…

The son of a Parisian shopkeeper, the young Corot was hired as a salesman by a cloth merchant, despite his evident gift for drawing.  Clearly lacking an aptitude for business, he was already twenty-six when his father gave him an allowance so that he could devote himself entirely to his vocation.

Studying with A. Michallon, with whom he painted his first landscapes in the Forest of Fontainebleau, and then with Victor Bertin, he took his first trip to Italy in 1825.  There he enjoyed the friendship of Caruelle d’Aligny and Edouard Bertin who shared his passion for painting from nature.  On his return three years later, he adopted a pattern of work, which he maintained throughout his life, of painting in his Paris studio during the winter and devoting the summer to traveling in France, interrupted by frequent visits to Ville d’Avray, Chailly and Barbizon.

From spring to autumn, he lived with his parents at Ville d’Avray.  He worked in the mornings and evenings, capturing the light and atmosphere of his favorite times of day.  He was an extremely kind and generous man much loved by his fellow artists, whom he was always ready to help with money and advice.

During his long career he became one of the most celebrated artists of his generation and exerted tremendous influence on the painters of the Impressionist movement.  He was awarded numerous medals and the coveted Legion of Honor in 1846.  Acknowledged as the world’s foremost landscape painter, fame did not spoil the simplicity of his character.  His work can be found in important public collections around the world.

C.C. Moll Windmill Painting Finished with Louis XIII Frame.

After de-fitting and discovering the surprise of the bottom-left corner, where the canvas had been folded many times and rudimentarily packaged together by what looked like the work of an upholster, we were able to get the painting re-lined. Due to how thin and fragile the canvas was we decided to re-line it twice: first with a layer of Pe-Cap and then with a layer of archival linen. Hydration was administered where needed to treat the craquelures and in-painting helped conceal the craquelures and address the bottom-left corner where some paint loss had occurred. The original varnish was quite glossy and reflected lights very strongly. It was replaced with an archival varnish that we applied with several coats carefully coaxing them into the paint surface to once again help address the craquelures.

A new custom and hand carved Louis XIII frame was created and gilded with metal leaf. An archival fit brought the frame and painting together. Part One of this blog can be found HERE.

Moonlight Over Everglades Painting

This unsigned painting unfortunately had a book placed on it which resulted in several large tears. The linen was extremely dry, and dirt particulates covered the surface.

After defitting the painting an extensive suture operation stabilized the tears. New archival linen was adhered to provide foundational strength and deep, careful cleaning was carried out before in-fill and in-painting concealed the areas of loss. Conservation varnish to finish.


Federic Rondel Sr Beach Scene Under Blacklight

Investigation continues after de-fitting the Rondel Sr Beach Scene oil on canvas. Waiting for us on the reverse was a promising and cleanly-devised keying method. However, the reverse contained the outdated wax reline method that is unfortunately rather good at gathering dirt particulates to the reverse as well as to the front of the canvas. Along the perimeter, more damage and canvas degradation became obvious. With the aid of the blacklight we were able to locate the areas of old in-painting. Some of these areas correspond to old tear repairs, the condition of which is waiting for us under the old wax reline. Once that reline is removed, we’ll have a better understanding for what we’re facing with respect to the tears. Stay tuned for more…

Frederick Rondel was born in Paris in 1826 but emigrated to America and was best remembered as being the only art teacher for Winslow Homer. He was also a successful landscape and marine painter who painted extensively throughout New England and as far as San Francisco. A recurrent subject matter for his paintings are views along the Hudson River.

Rondel’s New England landscapes and paintings of New York City were ultimately influenced by the romanticism of his teachers in Paris: Theodore Gudin and Auguste Jugelet (Jugelet himself being a pupil of Gudin).

It is known that in 1855 to 1857 Rondel was in Boston, having arrived from Europe, and one year later was in South Malden, Massachusetts, while concurrently keeping a New York City studio.
He was away from New York in Europe from 1862 to 1868, the duration of the Civil War, but returned to the city to be a faculty member at the National Academy of Design, where he had become an Associate member.

He exhibited at the National Academy, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and the Boston Athenaeum.

Frederick Rondel died in 1892.