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What Lies Beneath: Uncovering the Buried Secrets of the Old Masters

What Lies Beneath: Uncovering the Buried Secrets of the Old Masters

October 1, 6:30 – 7:30 pm / Bidwell Forum

A painting’s full story isn’t always visible to the naked eye. Secrets about an artist’s intentions and methods are often concealed, waiting to be discovered beneath the paint surface. Perhaps the artist changed the pose of the subject or painted out an element of the composition, but sometimes, more dramatically, a completely different picture can be revealed there!

Please join us on Monday, October 1st, at 6:30 PM in the library’s Bidwell Forum as we examine the techniques used by modern painting conservators to bring these hidden details to light. Covering a wide range of artists from the early Renaissance to the present day, this program will explore the fascinating process of painting conservation and restoration, as well as the mysteries they reveal and the philosophical questions they pose, for example, can we learn what we truly value about works of art by understanding why and how we conserve them?

All attendees will be entered into a chance drawing to win a pair of guest passes to the Huntington Library, where they will have the opportunity to view a live restoration of Thomas Gainsborough’s famous Blue Boy painting.

Jon Leaver is Professor of Art History at the University of La Verne, and editor for X-Tra journal of contemporary art. Born in the UK where he studied and began his teaching career, he moved to California 15 years ago and fell in love with the richness of Los Angeles’s cultural diversity. His research covers a wide range of art history and visual culture from nineteenth-century French painting to the contemporary art of Los Angeles. He has written extensively on the painter Édouard Manet, the art critic Charles Baudelaire, as well as subjects as diverse as the aesthetics of soccer and the history of World’s Fairs and Expositions.