Simon Gillespie ACR


I have been restoring since 1978. I was inspired by a visit to a restorer’s studio when I was living in Mexico City where I witnessed what I thought were rather flippant methods being used and decided to come back to London and learn. I took two apprenticeships, studied chemistry and attended art history lectures for everything that was pertinent to the various projects that I was involved in. This has built up a huge bank of knowledge and experience. I started the business in 1982.

One of the most interesting things that I have worked on is the Self Portrait of Frans Hals. I know that one of the most difficult things in art is to paint a portrait, and to study oneself and paint that is much more dramatic. When carried out by a master such as Frans Hals it is quite magical to be sitting in exactly the same position as he was, me with a very thin brush carrying out minute precise spots of retouching, I felt that he was sitting over my shoulder guiding me.

The Studio’s work is 50% involved in contemporary art and resolving the challenges that contemporary materials can often bring is ever evolving and highly interesting.

Outside of work I enjoy climbing mountains, the higher the better.