Art’s iconic ‘Blue Boy’ gets major 250th birthday makeover

SAN MARINO, Calif. (AP) — “Blue Boy” is getting a long-awaited makeover, and the public will be able to watch as one of the world’s most iconic paintings receives a nip here, a tuck there and some splashes of fresh paint (blue presumably).

Beginning Saturday, visitors to The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, can see conservator Christina O’Connell repair Thomas Gainsborough’s priceless portrait of a boy dressed all in blue.

Equipped with a powerful microscope and paints created to match what Gainsborough used, O’Connell hopes to have the work restored to its original grandeur by next year.

This marks the painting’s first major conservation since railroad magnate Henry Huntington acquired it in 1921 for a then-record $728,000.

It was first displayed to acclaim at Britain’s Royal Academy in 1770.

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