The Back of the PaintingHe Kōrero anō kei Muri

The back of a painting can reveal the story of a painting’s genesis, or its history in the artist’s studio, or life after that. The simplest things – nail holes and stains for example – tell you so much, as do the overall quality and ‘feel’ of a painting.

Based on the new book The Back of the Painting from Te Papa Press, view a work from our collection – both the artwork and what is on the back of the painting – and unpick the story it tells.

Focussed and detailed images of the front and back of Flora Scales’ Anemones unpacks a bigger story about this work.

When | Āhea

Apr 8 – Jul 29 2021

Where | Ki hea

Toi Art, Level 5

Cost | Te utu

Free entry


For ages 12+


10 minutes

“Close observation is the key to my work as a paintings conservator. The tiniest details can offer fascinating clues – and the back often tells me as much as the front.”

– Linda Waters, Conservator Paintings and author of The Back of the Painting

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