Restoration

“Following further investigations, including tests in an archaeometry laboratory, it was discovered that layers of binding agent and a layer of dirt existed between the image of Cupid and the overpainting. The conservators concluded that several decades would have passed between the completion of one layer and the addition of the next and therefore concluded that Vermeer could not have painted over the Cupid himself.” 

Statement issued by the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden, Germany, upon unveiling Johannes Vermeer’s ‘Girl Reading Letter at a Window’ fully restored to reveal a previously-hidden painting within the background

back-bent dedication lingers

over minutest detail,

flecked upon a scalpel’s edge

scraping back the trauma of decades

and a different generation’s shame

until painstaking years recover, at last,

brightly togged and hopeful:

love’s plum-ripe promise.

~eai

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