JAIC 1977, Volume 17, Number 1, Article 1 (pp. 01 to 08)
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Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 1977, Volume 17, Number 1, Article 1 (pp. 01 to 08)


Bettina Jessell


One of Helmut Ruhemann's great contributions to the art of inpainting was his insistence on following the methods of the original painter exactly, and on understanding the painter's artistic intention. That can only be done by a restorer who has a thorough knowledge not only of the technique of a particular painter, but also of the visual experience which the painter is trying to communicate by means of this technique; in other words, connoisseurship. This to Helmut Ruhemann was the most important attribute a restorer can possibly have, and one which he spent a lifetime teaching and passing on to his pupils. Just before his death he said to me sadly that connoisseurship was declining and that he feared it would die out. I feel that was the pessimism of age. As long as there are great paintings there will be many people who will steep themselves in these paintings, and so, as it were, get on the same wave length as the painter. It is that, together with knowledge of technique, which makes connoisseurship.

Copyright 1977 American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works