Until the early twentieth century, it was common practice to salvage a painting by cropping its damaged parts and displaying each intact area as an independent work of art. Some art dealers divided canvases even when the works did not suffer significant damage, because it was easier and more profitable to sell a number of small pieces than one large-scale work.
(See more about the reconstruction of the Petrobelli Altarpiece at the National Gallery of Canada’s website.)
Giovanni Ambrogio Bevilacqua
Saint Jerome, circa 1495-1500 (detail)
Tempera with gold leaf on wood panel
The Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin
The Suida-Manning Collection