The portrait of a young man depicted en-face with a white collar on a dark background in a period garment of silvery silk with gilt trimmings is a consistent example of Renaissance portraiture. The artist of the portrait probably came from a Spanish background, given the painting's considerable affinity with works from the portrait gallery of the Lobkowicz family of Nelahozeves, which was created by Spanish artists in the early 17th century.
During Emil Filla's retrospective exhibition at the National Gallery in 2007, I had the opportunity to examine practically all of the presented works and to restore many of them. Emil Filla's paintings are technically of very high quality and rarely do the paintings suffer serious damage. However, the often very dirty surfaces of the paintings do not allow to appreciate variety of textures of his works and to stand out the stark tonality. The painting Still Life with Owl, 1937, is an example of the rich texture of the painting surface, which only fully emerges after the dirt has been removed. The glossy enamel paints are revealed in contrast with gritty textures used to create the unusual effects of the painting.
This painting by the important artist Robert Delaunay comes from his early period, characterized by an expressionistic rendering and wild handling of colors. With its riotous colors the painting is very refined. Executed directly on a rough canvas with a thick application of oil paint, the work is now very unstable.
The accidentally damaged painting on a wooden oak panel found in the Czech border region of the former Sudetenland is completely "without a past". Despite the undeniable quality of the painting, its classification, dating and provenance are very problematic. It is most likely based on the Saxon tradition of 16th century panel painting. The palette of pigments is late Gothic or Renaissance. It includes minium, vermilion, various varieties of coppers, enamel, azurite and probably lead-tin yellow.
The painting by Joseph Heintz the Younger is a beautiful example of the small-scale genre with figurative scenes in the setting of exquisitely elaborate Renaissance architecture. We see a densely populated marketplace with a multitude of action ranging from the pulling of teeth, the selling of prints, and a street vendor selling eyeglasses.
A fine baroque portrait by an unknown master. The painting had been treated in several stages during the past, destroyed by overcleaning, which has lead to scratches in the final layers of paint and diminished the stability between canvas and ground.
Sizable canvas by Josef Sima, who often worked on water-soluble chalk primed canvas with underpainting in distemper and subtle lean final paint. Insufficiently prepared ground together with tension of distemper is the cause for flaking of paint. While consolidating the painting there exist a potential risk of darkening the white ground and the painting itself. This problem had to be addressed during the conservation. White ground plays the role of reflective surface for thin washes of colour and locally becomes a part of the image of the painting which was never intended to be varnished.
At this minute painting Zrzavy used a fine technique of watercolour and tempera on white chalk ground applied over masonite board. Painting was then varnished with natural resin. Due to tension of breath-thin paint layer, flaking occurs and along with delaminating of paint from underlying fragile ground.
The painting was kept in the collections of the Kroměříž Museum as a probable copy of a painting from the Bassano workshop of the 18th century. During the restoration intervention, research was carried out leading to an unexpected shift in the attribution of the painting. Material laboratory analyses and comparison of painting techniques, most importantly that of the of the painting's ground, showed that it is not a copy but an original painting of the Venetian school, probably by Francesco Bassano, son of the founder of the workshop, Jacopo Bassano.