French artist Henri Rousseau was born on this day in 1844. His still life The Pink Candle (1908), acquired by Duncan Phillips in 1930 along with Notre Dame (1909), is currently on view upstairs in the original Phillips house as part of Jeanne Silverthorne’s Vanitas! project for the Intersections series. The little painting hangs to the right of a doorway framing Silverthorne’s tour de force in silicone rubber–DNA Candelabra (showing the beginning genetic sequence for depression, anxiety, addiction, anger, and panic) on rubber crate (2007).
Inpainting, also known as retouching or ‘loss compensation’, is one of the final steps in a conservation treatment. Conservators custom mix dry pigments with stable and reversible media to get just the right color to retouch losses and abrasions on an artwork. Inpainting is confined to areas of lost paint only. It is intended to be invisible to the naked eye but distinguishable from original paint on close inspection or examination under ultraviolet light. The use of small brushes makes for a slow and exacting process. Something to listen to on the radio or a playlist, podcast, or audiobook is a necessary ‘tool’ for most conservators when completing this work.