"Girl with a Pearl Earring" (orig. title: "Het Meisje met de Parel"), ca.1665

by Johannes Vermeer - a restoration sample

This particularly beautiful and timeless painting had been restored in 1994 by the Dutch restoration specialists from its previous, fairly disastrous state to the present, much more attractive condition that we can witness now in the Mauritshuis gallery in the Hague. (The remarkable result of which prompted later on, I imagine, for making of a same-title Hollywood movie with Colin Firth and Scarlett Johansson in 2003 that proved to become widely popular). That was a massive, painstaking and radically successful restoration undertaking; however, even such ingenious recovery job could revive only that much of the original masterpiece, so the painting still retained a countless number of cracks and scratches, as well as other time-induced paint artifacts. Using a wide array of unique digital restoration tools and virtual painting brushes (and a lot of patience), I succeeded in the end in giving to the digital version of the painting its newly-recovered (if not fully identical to the original), fresh and vivid look, -without sacrificing any of the original structure, detail and colour palette, as I hope. The two fragments of the digital copy of the painting below, the original and the restored one, demonstrate effect of the restoration.

Before restoration
Boat fragment - original
After restoration
Boat fragment - restored