A Closer Look is the new series title for the updated and refreshed National Gallery Pocket Guide range.
The series has been enhanced with a stronger format, attractive design, new photography, and additional information. The philosophy of modern conservation is different from that of previous eras: the emphasis now is on long-term stabilization by methods that alter the structure of a painting as little as possible.
Nevertheless, if paintings are obscured by discolored varnishes and old repaints, they are cleaned, and this has often led to anxiety and debate as long-admired images are transformed.
A Closer Look: Conservation of Paintings discusses the material nature of paintings and the ways that they have changed, both naturally and at the hands of previous restorers.
It also describes the main types of conservation treatment carried out on panel and canvas paintings and some of the complex issues involved in cleaning and restoration.