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Until canvas became the more popular support medium in the 16th century, it was the normal form of support for a painting not on a wall (fresco) or vellum, which was used for miniatures in illuminated manuscripts and paintings for the framing.

Panel painting is very old; it was a very prestigious medium in Greece and Rome, but only very few examples of ancient panel paintings have survived.

A conservator acquires skill and ability through study and practical experience.

A panel painting is a painting made on a flat panel made of wood, either a single piece, or a number of pieces joined together.

Paintings need care to keep them looking their best for the longest possible time. The natural aging of the painting alone in addition to the accumulation of dirt over the years requires the attention of a trained paintings conservator.

Even if a painting is cared for and displayed properly, it will still experience the effects of natural aging and dirt accumulation.

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Most classical Greek paintings that were famous in their day seem to have been of a size comparable to smaller modern works - perhaps up to a half-length portrait size.

An exhibition label can also lead us to original reviews, allowing us to see how a painting was first received, which is always interesting, and a good addition to catalogue notes. Follow chalk marks and barcodes to trace a work’s journeythrough the big auction houses When trying to learn more about a painting, chalk marks form an integral part of the jigsaw puzzle.

Sotheby’s has always used yellow chalk to mark pictures, which can offer some clues about a work’s past.

Here are some guidelines to understanding the process of conservation and how to find a conservator.

Getting your painting "restored" can mean many things.