Reconstructing a 17th century Flemish flower painting

Art Conservation in Action

In 2014, I started a research project at the Hamilton Kerr Institute, studying the painting technique of the seventeenth century flower painter Daniël Seghers (Antwerp 1590-1661).[1] One of the master’s flower pieces kept at the Fitzwilliam Museum was studied in depth using modern imaging techniques and paint analysis. These findings were used to paint a reconstruction of the painting, emulating the original materials and techniques as faithfully as possible. When painting the reconstruction, the ageing that has affected the paint and varnish on the original painting was disregarded. The result of this step-by-step reconstruction shows how the painting was created and how it would have looked when it left the artist’s studio. The reconstruction will be on show at the Fitzwilliam Museum in June as part of the Hamilton Kerr Institute’s 40th anniversary display.

1 Painting the reconstruction in the HKI studio’s (© van Dorst)

The original

The Vase of Flowers

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About Jose Ramon Marcaida

I’m a historian of science interested in the history of early modern Iberian science and its connection with Renaissance and Baroque visual culture. More generally, I’m interested in the relation between texts, images and things across the Humanities.
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