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50% discount: Burlington feature on Hopman and De Wild, two Dutch families of restorers

The Art of Conservation VII: Hopman and De Wild: The historical importance of two Dutch families of restorers

Until the mid-19th century the restoration of paintings was undertaken by painters and dealers in a rather haphazard manner. The foundation of national museums throughout Europe brought greater awareness to the state of the works of art. General grime and industrial pollution also affected paintings, which darkened, and the public became accustomed to old masters being brown 'like a violin' as Sir George Beaumont wrote.

The first of the Hopman dynasty, Nicolaas Hopman, started out as a painter but was gradually adopted by the galleries in Amsterdam and The Hague to clean national treasures. He and his successors established ways of lining fragile paintings, using blue-and-white striped bed ticking, and other more dubious methods of preserving the paint layer, including the notorious Pettenkofer method.

By the 20th century the de Wild family was collaborating with scientists on the conservation of paintings, and the art of conservation had become a science. Together, the two families helped the profession develop towards the academic standards that have been established today. 

A PDF version of the article, written by Esther Van Duijn (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam) and Mireille Te Marvelde (Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem), is offered to Icon members at a 50% discount (RRP £15). Place your order via

The Art of Conservation, published on a bimonthly basis, covers the history of conservation from the 17th century to the present day. The themes of the articles have been selected by a committee of practising conservators and historians of conservation, including Ian McClure ACR, David Bomford, Ann Massing, Joyce Hill Stoner, Jan Piet Filedt Kok and Zahira Véliz Bomford many of whom will also be contributing to the series. 

Read more about The Burlington Magazine’s October issue.

Image: View of the Oranjezaal, The Hague, with The marriage of Frederik Hendrik and Amalia van Solms by Gerard van Honthorst above the doors. 1651. Canvas, 318 by 755 cm. (Staat der Nederlanden, Koninklijke Verzamelingen, The Netherlands. Photograph Margareta Svensson.)


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