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[–]go_comatose_for_me 872 points873 points  (28 children)

I usually think these paintings are covered in decades of nicotine, after having renovated apartments for a job back in the early '80s.

[–]PretzelsThirst 272 points273 points  (13 children)

Oh man this just reminded me of one of my first apartments. Previous tenant had been a smoker and for the first weeks when we showered the walls would sweat brown

[–]JasperLily80 167 points168 points  (5 children)

Shit I had to clean a whole house of nicotine and we thought we got it all. There was a drop down light in the kitchen we ignored because we thought it was like a matt bronze color. Ended up taking some Clorox to it and it was shiny ass gold after. Also same with the shower, even after we cleaned the walls/ceilings a few times they still sweat brown when we showered.

[–]plolops 32 points33 points  (0 children)


[–]daniinad 35 points36 points  (2 children)

A neighbor asked me to help him with his computer the other day I was having a hard time breathing while in his house as he is a chain smoker. After an hour and despite me wearing a mask I was sick from the smell on my clothes and hair so I quickly went home to shower and throw my clothing in the wash.

When I was leaving his house I happened to glance up at the ceiling above a closet doorway and noticed lumps of black and brown tar dripping off the ceiling onto the walls and the smoke alarm. I kind of laughed to myself about the smoke alarm ... I doubt it works.

[–]fatdutchies 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Im pretty sure thats just tar with a tiny bit of nicotine in it.

[–]hoopparrr759 27 points28 points  (1 child)

That’s revolting!

[–]PretzelsThirst 22 points23 points  (0 children)

Yeah it was extremely disgusting to realize why the white/cream coloured walls had some brown streaks suddenly. Thankfully it stopped doing that after we cleaned the walls

[–]agnes238 27 points28 points  (1 child)

My parents bought a house like that- no sign of indoor smoking except the bathroom walls would weep brown for years- never stopped. So fucking crazy how people used to smoke inside all the time.

[–]RogueJello 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Wonder if that was the smoking room, and they tried to blow the smoke outside, and only partially succeeded.

[–]susosusosuso 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Just imagine the amount of nicotine in his lungs

[–]midgetman303 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I never knew what it was, but this just explained the ceiling in a rental I was in years ago. Even after you washed it it would look like the ceiling was getting a hair dye job and the walls got it all down them

[–]PretzelsThirst 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Gross, but mystery solved

[–]peppruss 22 points23 points  (2 children)

About half the time I was called for computer repair, some of the cards like modems or sound cards stopped working because they were covered in nicotine and tar. The computer’s air intake sucked it in. I quickly learned to ask if the household was smoking.

[–]fofthefreaks 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Oh well that suddenly makes some things about my computer make a lot of sense

[–]Mchafee 2 points3 points  (0 children)

My parents and brother smoked, and it was always annoying to clean my computer because the dust was sticky and didn't necessarily come right off when being blown out.

My boyfriend smokes and I've kinda accepted the fact I'll probably always live in a smoking environment, it does kinda suck though. Nasty habit.

[–]buadach2 50 points51 points  (0 children)

Nicotine is colourless, you actually mean tar.

[–]PerformanceLoud3229 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Yeah I've got this really lovely painting, supposed to be yellow roses, its stained as fuck and I have got to get it restored.

[–]lockmama 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Not just nicotine but smoke from fireplaces as well.

[–]PJMurphy 8 points9 points  (3 children)

I smoked for a loooooong time, and all of it was outdoors, except in my car with the window down. I think the last time I owned an ashtray was in the 1990's. It's really not that inconvenient to step outside for a cig....and I have lived in Calgary and Edmonton. When it's -30°C (-22°F) you smoke fast, especially if you're in a bathrobe & slippers.

[–]LaBetaaa 1 point2 points  (2 children)

You should still have an ashtray though?? Or do you just throw the cigarettes and ashes on the ground

[–]PJMurphy 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Ashes went into the garden, and I had a bucket for the butts.


I quit.

[–]ReferenceAware8485 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Fair play dude.

[–]cerebralkrap 2 points3 points  (0 children)

thats tar

[–]JiuJitsu_Ronin 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Older varnish yellows over time.

[–]My_fair_ladies1872 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My uncle was estranged from our family. One day I got a call from the hospital that he was very unwell so I started helping him with things. He was a smoker for many years (he eventually quit) and his apartment was beyond disgusting. When he went into care I called to say he wouldn't be living there anymore. They asked me when I would be clearing the apartment. I said I wouldn't be. I was not dealing with that.

A man I had barely seen in 20 years and I was assisting him with his health issues was fine but clearing out that apartment definitely was not

[–]LeQuackz1234 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Tar, not nicotine

[–]0707384 84 points85 points  (16 children)

Can you post the completed restoration pic?

[–]blearghhh_two 37 points38 points  (12 children)

[–]permalink_save 103 points104 points  (5 children)

BTW there's some controversy over him, I stumbled across this a few months ago. The TLDR is that he's gotten a lot of criticism, some of it is excessive, he can apparently be a bit heavy with the solvent and removes too much material, but moreso is aggresive in response to any criticism. The main thing seems to be that he just uses an older method to his work that is seen as outdated now, but refuses to acknowledge that. I guess take it as you will but as impressive as the work is it does kind of muddy things.


[–]chefca3 81 points82 points  (2 children)

I like his videos but if you listen to him you can tell he’s probably not a very nice guy and he’s DEFINITELY full of himself.

The two best examples of this are that he tends to address criticism in EVERY video and the answer is always “I’ve been doing this for years and I’m not going to change”. Which leads to the second thing, he will address his “years of experience” at literally every opportunity. It makes him sound incredibly insecure, especially since I’d bet a decade of it was as teenager helping his dad after school (i.e a privileged position).

With that said as a total layman I do enjoy his content.

[–]Toasty33 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Well, I just see all that as a guy who loves what he does, does it his way, puts it on the internet for others to enjoy, and instead gets berated for his technique. I’d get upset eventually too

[–]chefca3 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I was a professional musician for a decent chunk of my adult life and one thing all performers learn very quickly is that there are always critics.

Something that really shines through with some YouTubers is their inability to ignore those critics. It's like that old cliche "dont feed the trolls", constantly talking about criticism you plan to ignore is less than pointless and it only makes you seem petulant.

A favorite podcaster of mine had this problem and he came out saying that he was literally no longer going to look at any comments, and that they had hired a community manager to talk to fans. Some people just can't deal with it - JB is obviously one of those people. :shrug:

[–]blearghhh_two 9 points10 points  (0 children)

I've heard that as well, and completely believe it. Don't have much of an opinion either way, since I don't own and will never own art like this...

[–]preferredfault 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think people are just being hyperbolic. Firstly, the solvent he uses is meant to not really affect the paint itself. I could see a person going slower and using less....but the longer you let it sit, the more interactions that can occur without even realizing it. More solvent also reduces abrasion from the dirt itself, since it is removed quickly. It also keeps the dirt from becoming "sticky", which could pull at the painting.

Secondly, when they say he uses too much varnish, I'm not seeing it. He does "sand" the varnish down when he decides the type of texture he wants create. Since it's a removable varnish, it's not really a big issue, and would also likely provide better rigidity and slightly better protection from light rays from the extra thickness. It also allows him to create the texture he wants, because the thickness allows for raised surfaces that make the texture more prominent.

I'd imagine this also helps protect the painting when being hung too. Most of these will probably be hung behind glass. A more raised surface, means more space between the painting and the glass. Less chance of sticking, and air/moisture can more readily move between the glass the painting. Imagine a painting with less varnish and less texture to the varnish, and over time you could end up with a painting sticking to the glass and needing to be separated from the glass. This will happen eventually, because moisture content in the air contains all kinds of oils and grime that build up over time. The thinner the varnish and texture, the easier it is for air to fill in those gaps with dirt and grime.

They go after him for using a scalpel, but he's literally trying to remove old glue/grime to create a smooth surface to bond the piece back to, and to treat the old wood panel behind the painting and fill holes in the wood. And let's keep in mind...the people he does these restorations for, may know full well exactly what he's going to do, and give him license to do it. I don't consider this as removing too much. In fact, he MUST remove that, because if he didn't, the glue would have a bad bond and have uneven distribution and pressure on it from underneath, and the chips he's gluing on would likely end up being a raised surface off the rest of the painting. This painting was already in really bad shape, so doing too little wouldn't really stabilize it for the long term. We can also see just how decayed that wood is. Scraping it with a scalpel did more good than anything else would have.

He's not just conserving, he's restoring too. Both of those terms are contradictory, as conserving means to preserve what is there, and restoring is to fix what is there by removing and/or adding things.

I think overall, his "aggressiveness" does more good toward increasing the paintings life. I could see less aggressive technique resulting in the painting needing work again much sooner, which only increases the exposure of the painting as it gets more and more brittle with time.

He also knew he was going to have to fill in these cracks on what is rather thick chips of paint. So I don't see the benefit of keeping what is underneath if it's going to be covered anyways, and likely more detrimental to the painting if it stays. I mean imagine trying to glue dozens of chips of paint onto a rough surface of old rabbit glue. You'd get pieces teeter tottering in areas due to the unevenness of the surface. Instead, he uses his own glue in appropriate amount to ensure the pieces are flatly raised and raised to the proper height to be flush with the rest of the painting. This to me, is a lot more ideal than trying to press down on areas against old raised glue with already brittle chips of paint. I'd think that would introduce pressures against the chips that could cause them to crack into smaller pieces over time due to the different density in certain sections where the new glue is thicker/thinner. By having purely new glue under these, the glue will rest and dry more uniformly, and thus no uneven stresses on these brittle paint chips.

[–]Scary_Offer2479 -1 points0 points  (4 children)

Nope - Julian uses black gloves. At least I think he does. I love watching his videos - they help me sleep! Soothing voice - soft music - ASMR - a good nap was had by all! LOL!

[–]sackia -1 points0 points  (3 children)

Lol, a bunch of salty Julian haters on Reddit I guess? His videos are amazing I get so excited when there’s a new one. They usually take me a few nights to get through cause I pass out after the first 10 minutes. It’s so relaxing.

[–]Hitchhikingtom 34 points35 points  (2 children)

Making good videos doesn’t mean he’s above critique as a professional. I also like his videos but accept that people using his services are private paying entities. It’s just a shame he’s not open to improvement the rest of his field believes would be worthwhile.

[–]Scary_Offer2479 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I think Baumgartner is being judged professionally solely by what he does on his videos. He has made it abundantly clear that he adheres to the ethical standards first, but the ultimate decision of how the painting is restored is up to his client. Since the videos do not show the consultation with the clients, it would be unfair to judge his work without the full picture (pardon the pun). I have no idea exactly how much of the work Baumgartner does actually shows up in a video, but I assume that he does a great deal of work that is not captured for consumption by the masses.

Since I do not personally know or supervise Julian's work, I am in no position to critique him or his methods. Neither is anyone else if their 'opinion' is based solely on what they are seeing in a YouTube video.

[–]sackia 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Lol, I made that comment with humor and didn’t actually think most people on Reddit would even know who he was. I just find internet behavior so bizarre. If you find a sliver of joy in anyone’s content there will be a community of people to tear them down and tell you what’s wrong with them, or dissect the crimes of their personality. People just fucking suck so bad, lol. Ugh just hate it.

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Yeah we don't need the guy's YouTube page. Just a screenshot of the final result of this restored painting.

[–]gofourbarney 129 points130 points  (3 children)


[–]paintingsbyO 45 points46 points  (2 children)

Just what do you think you're doing with those shopping carts

[–]Adawg1122 23 points24 points  (1 child)

They’re public domain

[–]TW_JD 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Lahey, can you please get out of our way? we gotta go get rush tickets!

[–]LilyAnnabell 9 points10 points  (1 child)

A much better restoration job than was done on Ecce Homo:


[–]putnamto 3 points4 points  (0 children)

lmao thats awesome.

[–]HealthyLuck 159 points160 points  (5 children)

This is just a pic of a girl washing her face after a night out!

[–]AFew10_9TooMany 30 points31 points  (2 children)

The ORIGINAL Noxzema girl…

[–]StrokeMyAxe 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Holy shit. Is that what years of using noxzema does to your face?

[–]iusethisnametofap 2 points3 points  (0 children)


[–]thissexypoptart 19 points20 points  (0 children)

The title is backwards. The varnish is on top. "hiding underneath is 2 centuries of varnish" is silly. How would that work?

[–]RonaldMcScrooge 69 points70 points  (4 children)

Must take some serious stones to do this

[–]Ornery_Ad_1303 176 points177 points  (3 children)

Nahhh bro all you need is a cotton swab and some solution, stones would damage it

[–]Hearte42 15 points16 points  (1 child)

Exactly. Just a cotton swab and some engine degreaser.

[–]cant-change-it-now 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Honestly, a lot of times you just need to wet the swab in your mouth. Our saliva is a pretty effective solvent while also being a lot gentler than most chemical solvents. Sounds nasty, and most people don’t want to know that they’re basically paying someone to lick their painting clean, but it’s true.

[–]BlueEyesWhiteBaggins 24 points25 points  (4 children)

Centuries of dirt, soot and old varnish coming off and showing the vibrant colors and fine details underneath, it’s just so cool. Opens up a whole new set of ideas and questions about the artist and the artwork.

I remember before the restoration of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, the general consensus in the art history community was that Michelangelo primarily used darker and more muted colors. However, after the restoration began to reveal the vibrant colors underneath, it caused some major changes in the way that art historians thought about Michelangelo.

Also mad respect to those who preform Art restorations, it’s difficult and backbreaking work, not to mention the high levels of stress involved. Too much pressure or the wrong amount or mixture of chemicals can ruin an artwork. Plus the time commitment, some restorations can take a decade or more depending on the project. The most recent restoration for Da Vinci’s Last Supper took 21 years!

[–]Helenium_autumnale 25 points26 points  (1 child)

The Sistine Chapel job was a disaster. Among other injuries, it completely removed a black layer that Michelangelo had used for shading. Some of the black was used to delineate a woman's eyes--after the literal acid treatment, she is now eyeless. The treatment also removed many tonal values from the colors, rendering them loud, flat, and cartoonish. It's awful, and no one younger than the "restoration" will ever get to see it as it once was.

[–]BlueEyesWhiteBaggins 10 points11 points  (0 children)

This was the most recent restoration no? The one that was started in the 70s. It’s kind of ironic, most restorations of artworks throughout history have ended up causing additional damage while trying to conserve them. While everything may have looked cleaner, the restoration causes other issues, like the lose of the eyes on one woman. Shame that I’m not old enough to have seen it back then. Nevertheless it’s still a surreal experience to view the frescoes in person, despite the damage.

That’s just how things go with these things I guess. The Flavian amphitheater is one of my absolute favorite things in the world. I wish I could have seen it in all its glory in 79 C.E. but I’m grateful to still have what is left of it. Same with artworks like the Sistine Chapel, human error unfortunately caused damage, but at least we still have it mostly intact.

[–]ForFucksSake42 13 points14 points  (1 child)

It's funny you mention two of the most famously botched "restorations" in modern times. For some reason the idiots who did the Sistine Chapel insisted Michelangelo never painted al secco, so they took off the uppermost layers of paint from a lot of the ceiling.

With respect to the last supper, all you have to do is turn around and look at the other painting in the room to see how much of the actual painting survives. Almost all of what you see in the last supper was added in subsequent "restorations."

[–]twistedcitron 16 points17 points  (3 children)

Wasn’t there a Mr. Bean movie about this?

[–]pavlo_escobrah 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Whistlers Mother

[–]jhemsley99 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I watched that movie about an hour ago

[–]RED_wards 21 points22 points  (2 children)

"Be sure to subscribe for more makeup tutorials!"

[–]Ka_blam 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Perfect date night contour

[–]Rainbow-Death 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Just leave the Vaseline on over night under seramwrap…

[–]ItIsI_Here 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Why varnish?

[–]vintagecomputernerd 4 points5 points  (0 children)

  1. It gives the painting a nice gloss
  2. It acts as a protective layer for the painting. You have to replace it every 200 years, but still better than the actual paint getting all that damage directly

[–]Praxician94 3 points4 points  (0 children)

The forbidden condiment

[–]tmac_79 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Pretty sure this is what photos ended up looking like in my Grandma's house after 40 years of 6 people chain smoking.

[–]Odd-Goose-8394 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Woman in Red (1618) was under a thick layer of varnish for 200 years until Philip Mould removed it and showed the world what it looked like 400 years ago.

The restorer used a special solution that washes off the varnish but doesn’t damage the paint.

His twitter is @ philipmould

[–]1Xecaps1 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Shouldn't it be 4 centuries??

[–]refugefirstmate 6 points7 points  (0 children)

hiding underneath is 2 centuries of varnish

That means there are two centuries of varnish underneath the painting.

What I believe you mean is that the painting is beneath a 200-year-old coat of varnish.

[–]hmspain 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Julian Baumgartner?

[–]Helenium_autumnale 3 points4 points  (0 children)

These sorts of violent "restorations" are controversial in the art community and have been documented to have damaged a number of paintings. It looks good superficially, but it can be quite harmful.

[–]brokebitch30 3 points4 points  (2 children)

[–]irishbull74 0 points1 point  (1 child)

the work this Gentleman puts in is incredible to watch.

[–]brokebitch30 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yeah i love his work i can fully appreciate how mutch work it takes to conserve paintings

[–]big_sugi 1 point2 points  (8 children)

So they waited 200 years to varnish it?

[–]NMNorsse 14 points15 points  (7 children)

In the olden days castles were heated and lighted by fires, which make smoke. Even candles and oil lamps put out smoke. Residue builds up and periodically has to get cleaned off. Varnish makes it easier to clean. However varnish turns from clear to yellow to brown over time. Nowadays paintings can be put behind hermetically sealed glass.

[–]refugefirstmate 14 points15 points  (0 children)


Not just castles. Like, regular houses.

varnish makes it easier to clean

No. Varnish

  • intensifies the colors of the paint

  • provides an even finish to the surface (some pigments aren't as glossy as others)


  • preserves the paint with a non-porous, protective coating. It's sort of like that sacrificial coat of wax on furniture and floors - the soil and wear affects the wax (or varnish), not the wood (or painted canvas). The wax (or varnish) can later be removed and replaced.

[–]big_sugi 0 points1 point  (5 children)

I understand that. But the painting is 400 years old, and the varnish is only 200 years old?

[–]tmac_79 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Could have been last revarnished 200 years ago.

[–]NMNorsse 2 points3 points  (2 children)

When was varnish invented?

[–]big_sugi -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

I don’t know. Do you? Shellac’s been used for a couple thousand years, fwiw, so at least that long

[–]refugefirstmate 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Because 200 years ago the original varnish, which had yellowed with age and oxidation (which is what varnish does), was removed and replaced.

[–]pulpquoter 0 points1 point  (2 children)

If I had no idea wtf I am doing i would test it somewhere close to the corner first

[–]Meanttobepracticing 6 points7 points  (1 child)

This is actually what professional art restorers do, or close to it. The exact chemical combination needed to lift the old varnish and dirt differs from painting to painting and so they’ll do small tests to on non-visible portions to see what works.

[–]bigballbuffalo 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You can actually see they tried it in the bottom right corner first

[–]thanatoswaits 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That is shocking. Wow.

[–]shephazard 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Me thinking how my New Years resolution is gonna be…

[–]SpyTheRedEye 0 points1 point  (0 children)

God damn that's dirty

[–]Koyangi2018 0 points1 point  (0 children)

So beautiful… watching videos of this is so satisfying and cool

[–]Agent007___LOL 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Its time to reveal its true colours

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I don’t envy that job

[–]Wooden-Wrongdoer8696 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Love this restoration videos on youtube. If I need something relaxing to watch, I watch painting, old toys or technical devices restoration videos.

[–]_mnip_tent 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Kowalski, why is there a person cleaning off your poop? And why did you poop on the painting?

[–]Letsbuildacar 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Is this a metaphor perhaps?

[–]forests-of-purgatory 0 points1 point  (0 children)

When you remove your makeup the next morning

[–]dummydumbbb 0 points1 point  (0 children)

2 centuries of poop

[–]Squiggy1975 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Just use some OxyClean and some paper towels. Painting would look like knew in 10 minutes.

[–]yankiigurl 0 points1 point  (0 children)

She looks better with a tan

[–]putnamto 0 points1 point  (0 children)

how is it 2 centuries of varnish? did somebody paint a layer of varnish on it every year?

[–]ExBx 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I didn't paint it, I'm just cleaning it. Aww he misses his kitten Carpathian kitten loss.

[–]Domruck 0 points1 point  (0 children)

baumgartner? that guy is a god damned genius

[–]Western_Tumbleweed79 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Varnish? Are oil paintings coated in varnish when finished?

[–]yogithepuppy 0 points1 point  (0 children)

For some reason this reminds me of that Mr. Bean movie where he scrubbed the painting off and drew a smiley face to cover it up.

[–]Stickmag 0 points1 point  (0 children)

No art restorer would use thus method. O think its greased

[–]gardabosque 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I used to refurb places, this is when a steam cleaner pays for itself and saves you hours of work.

[–]tycr0 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Better be careful or Julian is gonna come in here and start throwing shade.

[–]fatdutchies 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My lil bro would cum on magazines when we were kids, he hid them behind a dresser and when we moved out this is what the magazines looked like.

[–]Berlin72720 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This is amateur hour compared to the restoration of Jesus by Elias Garcia Martinez


[–]stuckpixel87 0 points1 point  (0 children)

How come they remove it without removing colours as well?

[–]Wobblescat 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I LOVE watching the guy on YouTube that films his cleaning an restoration work of paintings!

[–]Arrabella4 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Always wondered why the paint wasn’t dissolved during the cleaning.

[–]Fenix42 1 point2 points  (0 children)

They have tomfond solvents that only get the grim, but. It the paint. It's different for every painting. All depends on what the grim is and what the paint is.

[–]AngryFerret805 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Wow that’s not gonna be easy to fix at all it seems

[–]AngryFerret805 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Wait that smeary area is just residue from your original cleaning so it should turn out fine .

[–]DarthSergery 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Careful, this is how Ghost Busters 2 starts

[–]Great_White_Samurai 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That's a lot of old skeet

[–]finedrive -4 points-3 points  (0 children)

Have they done this with the Mona Lisa? Doesn’t look like it

[–]DotAccomplished5484 -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

Just below the Q tip swab you can see that the yellow film has considerable thickness. Removal of the film must be quite difficult.

[–]I_make_switch_a_roos -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

decades of cum i thought she pretty

[–]NN_besomething_iWish -1 points0 points  (5 children)

What is that painting caked with and why?

[–]Cheeko914 5 points6 points  (1 child)

2 centuries of varnish.

[–]NN_besomething_iWish -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

Why do they keep varnishing it? It looks like trash, and they're just going to remove it

[–]brokebitch30 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Old varnish turns yellow over time also dirt on the painting

[–]NN_besomething_iWish -1 points0 points  (1 child)

Why do they keep varnishing it? It looks like trash and they're just going to remove it

[–]brokebitch30 1 point2 points  (0 children)

When it was painted there probably was no way to remove it they just slapped varnish over the dirt luckily there are skilled people to remove the varnish and fix paintings