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On Canvas: Preserving the Structure of Paintings

Available February 2020 

Stephen Hackney

Throughout its long history in Western art, canvas has played an influential role in the creative process. From the Renaissance development of oil painting on canvas to the present day through Impressionism, Abstract Expressionism, and other art historical movements—the use of canvas has enhanced the scale of painting, freedom of brushwork, and spontaneity in technique. This book recounts some of that rich history in relation to corresponding developments in conservation practice.

Rather than concentrating on the familiar concerns of cleaning and varnish removal, this volume considers the preservation of a painting’s structure. By focusing on recent studies on the fundamental nature of canvas and its mechanisms of deterioration, the book explains new approaches to the conservation of both contemporary and historical art—including reversible, passive, and preventive treatments, particularly with respect to lining. Written by Stephen Hackney, a conservation practitioner and leader in conservation research, On Canvas is the first book to take a comprehensive look at this important subject and is destined to become an invaluable resource for the field.

Stephen Hackney is an independent scholar and author who trained at the Courtauld Institute of Art (1967–72) and was formerly the head of conservation science at the Tate (for whom he still acts as a consultant). He has written extensively on the subject of oil painting on canvas.

256 pages
8 x 10 inches
82 color and 34 b/w illustrations, 30 charts
ISBN 978-1-60606-626-3
paperback

Getty Publications
Imprint: Getty Conservation Institute

2020

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