Craquelures on Claude Venard Painting
I have seen hundreds of Claude Venard paintings. I have seen only a few handful of paintings that are in perfect shape without some sort of craquelure. I would say 95% of Venard paintings have some craquelures.
The way Venard mixed the paint with other ingredients <I don't know what> to build up a texture and probably to make it dry fast so that he could add up more pigments to create a certain nuance and impact.
He applied heavy impasto and sometimes the paint was mixed with sand. Whatever the reason is, the surface of the painting cracks as it dries up as time goes on. Many times they are fragile.
Once I bought a large size painting from an estate in upstate New York. I was very happy about the painting that was in good shape.I soft packed the painting and put it on top of the blanket in the Van so that it can have smooth ride.
I drove carefully not to hit a pot hole and not to make sudden stop, etc. I drove about 2 hours and arrived to a shipper in Long Island City.
When I unpacked the painting to give to the shipper, I found there are many craquelures on the surface of the painting. I was shocked. The painting surface cracked during 2 hours drive which I did with utmost care. I had to bring the painting to a restorer and the painting surface was stabilzed, cleaned and re-varnished.
Now the painting is in heathy condition - and it will stay like that next 50 years, I hope.
Many collectors think the painting with craquelure is like a damaged painting even after it was restored, and the value of the painting should be much less than other comparable painting without (?) craqueleure.
Other collectors don't think like that and they pay more attention to the composition and artistic expression of the painting. I would rather buy great Venard painting with some crquellos rather than mediocre painting in perfect condition.
I think Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa does not go down in value because it has too many craquelures. JH
- Contact us if you have a Venard painting and you would like to restore it.