What’s Under the Varnish?

Go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven

Mark 10:21
Wisdom 7:7-11; Psalm 90:12-17; Hebrews 4:12-13; Mark 10:17-30

In 2019, a famous portrait of 18th-century French chemist Antoine Lavoisier and his wife, Marie Anne, was sent to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s conservation lab. The job at hand was the removal of varnish to restore the vibrancy of the great work. However, during the process, the conservation specialists discovered a hidden sketch under the painting.

Since its creation in 1788, the painting as known to the art world depicts the Lavoisiers as humble leaders of a scientific revolution. In the picture, Marie Anne leans over her husband, who is hard at work at his table of specialized instruments.

But after months of analysis using infrared imaging and other state-of-the-art techniques, the experts discovered that the original painting of Lavoisier and his wife was far less flattering, depicting the couple as wealthy nobles living a lavish lifestyle. In the artist’s original depiction, the scientific instruments are absent, the table is inlaid with expensive brass details, and Marie Anne is wearing an elegant gown…

To view this resource, log in or sign up for a subscription plan

Scroll to Top
Sign up to get our Free
"Preachers Welcome Package" eBook
(Plus, a few more FREEBIES)