The Unvarnished Truth : New Discoveries and Dilemmas Beneath the Surface of Rembrandt, Vermeer and other Dutch Fine Art Masterpieces

Like humans, paintings change over time as they age. Whereas the former show gray hairs and wrinkles, the latter exhibit surface cracks, fading colors, jaundice, and canvas tears. To keep paintings looking their best, they are kept in carefully calibrated environments and undergo periodic maintenance by specialized ‘art doctors’ known as conservators. In this 90 minute event, we step inside the conservation studio of the Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery, The Hague, and meet Sabrina Meloni, one of its conservators. Sabrina will tell us about iconic 17th-century Dutch paintings from Rembrandt, Vermeer and Frans Hals that her team restored and researched over the past 25 years, stories that were featured in the Mauritshuis’ recent exhibition Facelifts and Make-overs. She will share key discoveries and ethical dilemmas from the Exhibition, and retrace the steps of her professional journey in the rarified and intriguing world of fine art conservation.

Date: Sunday, December 11, 2022

Time : 12:00 p.m. Central Standard Time (Chicago) | 19:00 Central European Time (Amsterdam)

Cost: $10 for Members of any Columbia Alumni Club, Columbia faculty and Columbia students; $15 for Non-members

Register and Pay Click Here: The Unvarnished Truth

Event Host: Daniel Balsam, CC’91

Speaker Biography: Sabrina Meloni is a paintings conservator working in the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis. She has a master’s degree in Art History from Leiden University, where she specialized in Italian Renaissance Art, with a master thesis about the origin of oil painting in 15th-century Florence. This was followed by a 5-years post-graduate program in Conservation of Paintings and Painted objects at SRAL (Limburg Conservation Institute) in Maastricht (Netherlands). After internships in the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum and the Mauritshuis, she started working as a Painting Conservator at the Mauritshuis in 2002. The focus of her work is conservation and technical research of 17th-century Dutch master paintings. Another focus point in her work is Conservation History, the theory and practice of the profession in the Netherlands since the late 18th century.  She has a special interest in the Dutch 17th-century artist Jan Steen, of whom she has already treated several works and on which she has conducted a large technical study. Sabrina has published articles on Frans Hals, Jan Steen and other Dutch genre painters.

December 11, 2022 at 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Zoom Video Conference

Chicago, IL
United States

Daniel Balsam