Behind The Scenes

A Short Film on the Cleaning Modern Oil Paints Project Watch how conservators and scientists approach the challenges of cleaning 20th- and 21st-century oil paintings

There are a number of reasons that modern paintings are proving challenging to conserve, such as the broad range of materials that artists are using and the way they make experiments with materials. An international team of researchers worked for three years to improve our understanding of the reasons behind the degradation phenomena of modern oil paints and to develop appropriate surface cleaning systems.

What the Cleaning Modern Oil Paints project has allowed us to understand is a very clear connection between the physics and the chemistry of what is going on in the oil paint and what we see on paintings’ surfaces. It has allowed us to read and understand paintings’ surfaces much better than we could before the project.

The Cleaning Modern Oil Paints project (2015–2018) has received support by Heritage Plus, a Joint Programming Initiative of the European Commission.