Madeleine Vaudremer

Paintings conservation

Freelancer based in Utrecht, The Netherlands

© Madeleine Vaudremer. All rights reserved.


My clients are museums and private owners. I work on location or in a fully equipped studio, providing, for paintings and painted objects:
• examination and treatment
• advice on preventive conservation
• condition reports prior to exhibition or transport
• courier supervision during transport
• coordination of technical research

Scroll down for examples of past work.

In a first meeting with a private client, we discuss treatment options, treatment and budget goals, and concerns. If you choose to go forward, I examine the painting further, and draw up a condition assessment, treatment proposal, and cost estimate. With your agreement, I begin the treatment. The condition of the painting is documented with photographs before, during, and after treatment. You receive these as illustrations in a digital report. If the painting needs a frame or the frame needs to be modified, you can have this done at Lijstenmakerij van Acker, Catch Framing, or Swaak 1892, for example.

Photo: condition check of Piet Mondriaan, Molen bij avond, 1917, oil on canvas, 103 x 86 cm, Kunstmuseum Den Haag. Photo courtesy of Kunstmuseum Den Haag.

Past work: example 1/4

Jaap Weyand, Rembrandtplein, 1907,
oil on canvas, 68 x 56 x 2 cm, Kunstmuseum Den Haag

The challenge with this painting was to remove dirt from the crevices in the paint. The crevices are related to the painting technique (the thick impasto), as well as a chemical reaction in the paint that causes wrinkling and peeling over time. The safest and most effective option for cleaning was to swab the surface gently with a specially formulated aqueous solution, which evaporated on drying to leave the surface free of residues.

Top: overview in daylight (after treatment).

Bottom left: detail of the rough paint surface.

Bottom right: method for surface dirt removal (sponge wrapped in absorbent tissue).

Photos courtesy of Kunstmuseum Den Haag.

Past work: example 2/4

Claude Monet, Blauweregen, 1917-1920,
oil on canvas, 150.5 x 200.5 cm, Kunstmuseum Den Haag

An x-ray of the painting allowed conservator Ruth Hoppe and I to reach a new understanding of Monet’s painting technique. We discovered that he first intended the composition to show waterlilies rather than wisteria. The painting was abandoned in Monet’s studio at Giverny during WWII, and it may have been during an air raid that shattered glass caused the many small tears in the canvas. We consolidated the torn canvas threads. In addition, we tested different water-based gels and solutions to remove discoloured overpaint - a particularly satisfying part of the treatment process.

Top: overview in daylight (before treatment).

Middle: X-radiograph taken by Arnold Truyen (SRAL) and digitalised by Rik Klein Gotink (Rik Klein Gotink Fotografie).

Bottom: Ruth Hoppe and I at work.

Photos courtesy of Kunstmuseum Den Haag.

Past work: example 3/4

Willem van de Velde de Jonge, Oorlogsschip,
ca 1655, oil on canvas,
64.5 x 78 x 2.5 cm,
Universiteit van Amsterdam

This painting travelled far and wide over the course of the last century. This was clear from the labels and stamp on its reverse. It was at one time in the possession of Amsterdam dealer Jacques Goudstikker, who kept meticulous records. These allowed me to identify other former owners, and, together with historic photographs of the painting, to reconstruct its physical history. Using non-invasive methods, I determined that much of the original paint layer remained intact beneath the discoloured overpaint, which I therefore removed, in the knowledge that there would be a substantial gain of original material.

Top: overview in daylight (before treatment). Photo courtesy of University of Amsterdam.

Middle: Jacques Goudstikker's inventory at the Stadsarchief Amsterdam.

Bottom: overpaint removal using solvent gel applied with a compress.

Past work: example 4/4

The Effect of Backing Boards
on Canvas Vibration,
University of Amsterdam

This was a collaboration with Bill Wei from the Cultural Heritage Agency of The Netherlands. The research began with interviews in ten Dutch museums to find out what, how, and why backing boards and inserts are used on canvas paintings. The materials were then tested on a dummy canvas painting rigged to a vibration table. After some trial and error, we were able to compare the vibration damping capacity of the different backing boards and inserts on the canvas.

Photos: backing boards being mounted on the dummy.


After studying Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art I earned a Master degree and Professional Doctorate in Paintings Conservation from the University of Amsterdam. What I love most about conservation is the moment where I understand the technique of a painter, where the painting has one less secret from me. Conservation is also exciting because it constantly provides new ethical and practical challenges. Collaborating with other conservators, attending workshops and conferences, and reading recent publications allow me to keep up with developments in the field. I am a member of Restauratoren Nederland.

Madeleine Vaudremer Schilderijenrestauratie
KvK: 76910164
BTW-ID: NL 00 31 20 59 3B 19

General terms and conditions


I look forward to talking with you about your painting or collection, and how I can help. Please use the form below to send me an email, or feel free to call me at
+31 (0)6 11 09 25 05.

Thank you