It is quite common to draw a distinction between complete and unfinished works of art. For example, it is uncontroversial to think that Vermeer had actually completed View of Delft before inept restorers added layers of coloured varnish to give the picture an antique quality, and there is very good evidence to support the related claim that the artist had not finished the work before he effected several pentimenti, including the painting over of a figure in the foreground on the right. Such beliefs oriented a costly and elaborate restoration that was begun in 1994 and terminated two years later.
Copyright © British Society of Aesthetics 1999
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