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Follow along as Julian Baumgartner of Baumgartner Fine Art Restoration in Chicago works to conserve and restore this icon of Ave Maria. This piece was likely created in a workshop that specialized in religious icons for churches and was the product of several craftspeople and artists with no one claiming ownership or signing the work. These icons appeared commonly throughout Europe and were often lost during war or the closure or relocation of a church.
This piece came in with very little provenance other than that the original owner was an antiques dealer who traveled extensively throughout Europe in the 50's and 60's collecting pieces for sale back in the USA. This was one that the dealer held on to.
Covered in years of grime and linseed oil with extensive losses and instability this icon was at high risk for further losses if not complete destruction. The process of conserving and restoring the piece was delicate and tedious but the end result reveals how it might have looked to parishioners when it was first revealed.
This version of the video includes a narrated walk-through of the work being performed. There is an ambient sounds-only version here: https://youtu.be/rNwpINkSTVY