Early Bengal Oil 
Artist: Ananda Mohan Saha 
Medium: Oil paint on canvas 
Dimension: 133 x 108 cm (including frame) 
Period: 1918 
Collection: Aakriti Art Gallery 

Have we heard of the name Ananda Mohan Saha, an artist who was active during the early twentieth century and worked closely in European Academic style which paralleled modern masters like Hemendranath Mazumder and others? KCCCL was fortunate to deal with one such painting attributed to Saha (Ananda Mohan Saha 1918 as inscribed), depicting a seated woman with a pitcher and reference to a tree at the backdrop. The painting had layers of grime and altered paint overs which hindered the original aesthetics of the picture. 

Mechanical stresses and structural alterations were also added to cause overall degradation of the artwork. 

Although the craftsmanship of repairing the structural damages is painstaking more challenging was to distinguish the altered layers and find a solution to reduce the effect of the same. The team performed detailed visual documentation and several cleaning test patches to identify the painted layers and check the efficacy of the solvents to be used. The desired image layer was surfaced after three phases of meticulous cleaning process which was followed by full lining from the back and infilling of the losses. 

Ethical conservation decision says that no foreign matter should permanently be a part of the original one. Each intervention layer must be reversible and the used materials compatible with the existing ones. In this case, a thin coat of acrylic resin was used as a surface coat providing a protective barrier and saturation layer which would also act as an isolation layer between original paints and the retouching layer. In the final stage, the image was visually reintegrated and restored close to its assumed original state.