Art vandal’s damaged paintings restored

Between 1977 and 2006, a vandal in Germany sprayed sulfuric acid on more than 50 paintings by such masters as Dürer, Rubens, and Rembrandt. He was sentenced to prison and mental institutions numerous times but always got out and continued his destructive rampage. Apparently he got a thrill from publicity so I see no reason to publish his name here.

Now one of the paintings he attacked is featured in a new exhibition to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Alte Pinakothek in Munich, Germany. Concealed/Revealed uses infrared imagery to examine the underdrawings of famous works of art to gain insights into how painters first sketched out their masterpieces. One of the works on display is Albrecht Dürer’s Mater Dolorosa, created c. 1495 and shown here. It was splashed with acid in 1988 but after more than two decades of painstaking restoration looks almost as good as new. Other damaged works were also restored.

The vandal died in 2009, but the art he tried to take from us lives on.

Concealed/Revealed will run until September 18. Another anniversary exhibition, Treasures from the Depot, runs until January 15 of next year at the Alte Pinakothek and focuses on little-seen works from the museum vaults.

[Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons]