And now, the Cincinnati Art Museum is putting its art historian on display as he works to restore an 1890 painting by Vincent van Gogh.
The latest museum to invite the public behind the scenes will show off chief conservator Per Knutas as he meticulously removes wax that was applied in the 1970s to the masterpiece, “Undergrowth with Two Figures.” The painting shows two lovers strolling through the trees.
Watch a video of Knutas working below.
Wax was once put on the back of “Undergrowth with Two Figures,” which was painted in 1890, to protect the canvas and secure the paint. But Knutas says some of the wax seeped to the front surface, obscuring van Gogh's vibrant colors.
A microscope hooked up to a 42-inch flat screen monitor will allow patrons to follow his progress up close.