Watch 200 years of varnish get wiped off an oil painting in seconds

Philip Mould cleans 200 years of varnish off a 17th century painting.

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Philip Mould cleans 200 years of varnish off a 17th century painting.
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Philip Mould/Twitter

    An art dealer was able to wipe off 200 years’ of varnish within seconds. Philip Mould used a mixture of gel and solvent to clean the painting. The 17th century painting depicts a woman in an elaborate dress. Watch videos of the restoration below.

An art dealer has been able to wipe off varnish accumulated over 200 years within seconds.

Philip Mould, who presents the BBC “Fake or Fortune?” show, tweeted photos and videos of the work in progress. Some 7.5 million people have already seen his footage since Monday, he noted.

The painting portrays a woman dressed in an elaborate 17th century dress, complete with what appears to be feathers and lace. It was originally part of a private collection in England, Mould told The Telegraph.

“All we know is she is 36 and it was painted [in] 1618,” Mould tweeted, citing the painting’s inscription.

He used a mixture of gel and solvent to remove the top layer of varnish without damaging the paint underneath, he told The Telegraph.

Varnish is often used to protect and preserve oil paintings from the elements.

Here’s what the painting looked like before the cleaning. You can see a yellowish tint over certain parts of the painting, including the woman’s face.

And here it is being cleaned.

A remarkable Jacobeanre-emergence after 200 years of yellowing varnish 1/2 pic.twitter.com/yBGNGDcNd7

pic.twitter.com/yBGNGDcNd7November 6, 2017

A last smear from the chinremoved. I will post an image of the completed picture as soon asit is ready. pic.twitter.com/K7TSl2XdqE

pic.twitter.com/K7TSl2XdqENovember 6, 2017

“A remarkable Jacobean re-emergence after 200 years of yellowing varnish,” Mould said.

Mould certainly garnered more praise than Cecilia Giménez, who got such bad reviews of her attempt to restore her church’s 19th century fresco of Jesus, or Ecce Homo, that tourists travelled all the way to the town of Borja, Spain, to see it.