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What is Restoration & Conservation?

There are two treatment methods used to preserve your artworks. Restoration is intended to improve the aesthetic, while Conservation is intended to preserve the integrity of your artwork while remaining reversible and adding longevity.

At Elizabeth Stafford Fine Art, I am committed to providing treatment that preserves your investments and family heirlooms. A conserved artwork will realize a higher value at auction or sale. In some instances, all that is required to bring the luster back to your painting is a light cleaning or varnish removal. Years of environmental pollutants such as nicotine will diminish visual clarity and cloud the true detail and colors of your works of art. Tears, surface abrasions, dents and losses can all be repaired seamlessly.

The painting on the left depicts the infamous Contessa Teresa Gamba Guiccioli, painted by a Giuseppe Fagnani. The Contessa was the last lover of Lord Byron, and was a famed beauty known for her striking blue eyes.

The previous restoration was done over an aged and soiled painting. The painting had a previously mended tear to the left of the sitters face, which is rough and highly visible. There is linseed oil applied over the top of the original varnish, which has significantly darkened with age.

The painting was framed in a period correct carved and gilded frame, executed by Peter Werkhoven of Aedicule in San Francisco. Mr. Werkhoven's contact information is available on the Mentors and Referrals page.

This painting was originally an example of a restoration process. The technique I used is an example of the conservation process, when the painting undergoes treatment to remove anything not executed by the artist. To preserve the original paint, any necessary in-painting should be executed with conservation grade removable paints such as MSA acrylics. These colors are reversible with mineral spirits and will not cross link with the original paint. A final coat of varnish to seal and protect the painting is then applied.

Please refer to the Glossary of Terms page for more information.

The Contessa's famed blue eyes are revealed.

I currently provide weekly service to: San Francisco, Hillsborough, Atherton, Menlo Park, Los Altos, Los Gatos, San Jose, Morgan Hill, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Carmel. I also serve the areas of Palm Springs and it's outlying cities.

Please contact me to set up an appointment and to determine when I will be in your area. If you are outside of these areas, a preliminary estimate can be made through photographs. Artwork can then be shipped to my studio directly, and return shipped to your home or gallery. 

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