Art restoration is any attempt to preserve and repair architecture, paintings, drawings, sculptures, or other objects of fine and decorative art whose condition has been negatively altered. While art restoration and conservation techniques go hand-in-hand, their definitions are slightly different. Art restoration denotes the repair or renovation of works that have already sustained decay with the attempt to restore a work to its original, undamaged appearance, while conservation refers to the maintenance and preservation to safeguard against future damage and deterioration.
There are many reasons as to why a painting might need to be repaired. In 2015, for example, a twelve-year-old boy lost his footing and accidentally punched a hole in a $1.5 million Paolo Porpora Baroque-style oil painting titled “Flowers.” Additionally, “The Night Watch,” a famous work by Rembrandt van Rijn on view at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, has been intentionally vandalized three times. Other works, like “The Resurrection” (1465) and “The Last Supper” (1546), were made in a type of paint that was ephemeral in nature, or they were exposed to climatic conditions that accelerated the decline of their condition.