Carefully selected combinations of organic solvents were used to dissolve the degraded varnish without damaging the original paint layers beneath. This phase provided the most dramatic visual change to the painting as the vigorous brushwork and bold range of colours employed by the artist were revealed. Old fillings and retouching applied by a previous restorer to conceal damage were also removed at this time.

Once cleaning was complete, the matte surface was re-saturated with a thin, protective layer of varnish.