Category: Conservation

The Louvre Conserves Delacroix's Femmes d'Alger

January 13 2022

Image of The Louvre Conserves Delacroix's Femmes d'Alger

Picture: Louvre

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Louvre in Paris has had Eugene Delacroix's Femmes d'Alger dans leur appartement conserved. The 1834 work was presented to the Museum in 1874 and hadn't been restored in many decades. The work was undertaken by Bénédicte Trémolières and Luc Hurter in the workshop of the Centre de recherche et de restauration des musées de France (C2RMF) using funds from the patronage of Mme Ealet.

Musée des Beaux-Arts Marseille Conserve and Redisplay Plague Scenes

January 10 2022

Image of Musée des Beaux-Arts Marseille Conserve and Redisplay Plague Scenes

Picture: @marseille

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Apologies for missing this late last year. The Musée des Beaux-Arts Marseille have conserved and redisplayed their masterpiece Le chevalier Roze à la Tourette in a special exhibition at the museum. Curators have brought together a set of canvases which depict various scenes around the town during the plague of 1720 (pictured).

The display will run until 28th February 2022.

Donatello's Gattamelata moving Inside after Five and a Half Centuries Outside

January 5 2022

Image of Donatello's Gattamelata moving Inside after Five and a Half Centuries Outside

Picture: wikipedia

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from Padua that Donatello's equestrian sculpture of Gattamelata will be finally moved inside after spending five and a half centuries out in the open. The sculpture, dating from 1453, has been positioned in the city's Piazza del Santo for centuries where it has been subjected to both shocks from the weather and regular gifts from pigeons (pictured). Thankfully, the original will soon be preserved inside The Basilica of St. Anthony Museum and a copy put in its place.

Preserving Rosa Bonheur's Château de By

January 4 2022

Image of Preserving Rosa Bonheur's Château de By

Picture: Le Mond

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The French newspaper Le Mond have published what looks to be an interesting article on artist Rosa Bonheur's Château de By in Thomery. The château came into the possession of Katherine Brault in 2017, who has been continuing to transform the building and collection into a museum worthy of commemorating the famous nineteenth-century female artist. 2022 is a special year as it marks 200 years since Bonheur's birth in 1822. 

Wine Sale to Fund Painting Restoration

December 27 2021

Image of Wine Sale to Fund Painting Restoration

Picture: Palazzo Barberini

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Palazzo Barberini in Rome are funding the restoration of Sant’Onofrio by Battistello Caracciolo (1578-1635) by the sale of wine from the Caparzo di Montalcino Estate. Work on the painting, which is currently obscured by lots of dirt and old varnish, will begin in 2022.

Capodimonte Museum Restores a Filippino Lippi

December 27 2021

Image of Capodimonte Museum Restores a Filippino Lippi

Picture: finestresullarte

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Capodimonte Museum in Naples has completed the conservation and restoration of Filippino Lippi's The Annunciation with Saints John the Baptist and Andrew (pictured). The project was completed by the Neapolitan company Temi SpA and was funded in its entirety by a private individual. In addition, the museum's Portrait of the Infante Francesco di Borbone by Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun was also restored as part of the same project.

Intriguingly, the necessary funding was achieved through an 'Art Bonus mechanism' which provides patrons with a tax deduction of 65%.

New Lighting for the Madonna del Parto

December 24 2021

Image of New Lighting for the Madonna del Parto

Picture: ansa.it

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Piero Della Francesca's fresco known as the Madonna del Parto has been illuminated with a new LED lighting system. The lighting for the work preserved in the Musei Civici Madonna del Parto, Monterchi, had not been updated since the 1990s. It is claimed that the new system finally does justice to the artist's original intentions, particularly in regard to colouring.

Symposium for the Study of Underdrawing and Technology in Painting - March 2022

December 23 2021

Image of Symposium for the Study of Underdrawing and Technology in Painting - March 2022

Picture: museabrugge.be

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

CODART (Curators Network for Dutch and Flemish Art) have drawn attention to the upcoming Symposium for the Study of Underdrawing and Technology in Painting held in Bruges in March 2022.

According to the website:

The theme of next year’s symposium is ‘Alla Maniera: technical art history and the meaning of style in fifteenth to seventeenth century painting’. The symposium focuses on how technical research can provide additional insights or challenges concerning the style of an individual painter, a workshop or a group of painters. Stylistic similarities might indicate cultural, social, geographical or chronological connections in paintings, drawings, prints, applied arts, etc. as well as across artistic media.

The symposium will be held in the English language.

Virtual Veronese at the NG for March 2022

December 23 2021

Image of Virtual Veronese at the NG for March 2022

Picture: The National Gallery, London

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Gallery in London have announced a virtual reality research and development project for March 2022. Virtual Veronese will allow visitors to virtually see Veronese's The Consecration of Saint Nicholas housed in its original setting of San Benedetto al Po, near Mantua, Italy.

According to the gallery's website:

Virtual Veronese is a research and development (R&D) project looking at how we can share research with a wider audience by using immersive technologies to explore new ways of telling stories. The project will enable us to understand how immersive storytelling can add depth of information, meaning, and emotion to Gallery visitors’ experiences of our paintings. 

For two weeks, we are inviting visitors to experience Veronese’s painting The Consecration of Saint Nicholas as it would have been seen in 1562 by using augmented and virtual reality headsets. This is a working prototype that will allow us to collect audience feedback to inform the development of this and other projects.

Click here to read more on the tech developer's own website.

Forgeries? Forgeries!

December 16 2021

Image of Forgeries? Forgeries!

Picture: ngprague.cz

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Gallery Prague opened an exhibition last month at the Sternberg Palace on Forgeries? Forgeries! 

According to the exhibition blurb:

The exhibition Forgeries? Forgeries! mounted in Sternberg Palace on Hradčanské náměstí square will show imitations of medieval paintings, sculptures and drawings. It will present forgeries executed in the style of the Dutch Old Masters of the 17th century, as well as fake works allegedly by prominent Czech painters of the 19th and early 20th centuries. In addition, there will be objects imitating non-European works of art, such as Oriental carpets and arts-and-crafts objects. Works on paper will also be displayed. The exhibition will include a number of iconic vases from foreign collections that brought worldwide fame to their creators and it will acquaint visitors with forgeries that are in the National Gallery’s holdings. Attention will also be devoted to famous masters’ signatures on paintings, which are no proof whatsoever that the artists had actually painted them. 

Visitors to the exhibition will learn in an intriguing way about the methods used to verify the authenticity of works of art. This will give them the opportunity to acquire further knowledge about the “behind-the-scenes” work of the National Gallery’s whole team of specialists ⁠–⁠ from curators, to conservators-restorers, to chemists in the laboratory. The exhibition will explain to visitors the difference between a replica, copy, imitation and forgery, executed for purposes of financial gain.

The show will run until 1st May 2022.

Conserved Van Gogh Self-Portrait to be Exhibited in London

December 10 2021

Image of Conserved Van Gogh Self-Portrait to be Exhibited in London

Picture: Kröller-Müller Museum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Art Newspaper have published an interesting article on news that a recently conserved Self-Portrait by Vincent Van Gogh will be included within the Courtauld Gallery's upcoming Van Gogh Self-Portraits exhibition (opening in February 2022). The work in question is the 1887 Self Portrait owned by the Kröller-Müller Museum in the Netherlands (pictured).

According to the article:

The self-portrait was varnished in the mid-20th century and this coating eventually became yellowed and dirty, obscuring much of Van Gogh’s detail and deadening its full impact. A photograph of the work nearly half completed, in November, shows quite what a difference this makes. 

Although most of Van Gogh’s paintings are on canvas, this was done on cardboard. Hardly surprisingly, the edges of the board have become fragile, so earlier this year it was decided to mount the cardboard on a supportive backing.

...

Many of Van Gogh’s paintings have suffered colour changes, particularly with fading red pigments, due to light exposure. The Kröller-Müller self-portrait is no exception, and traces of the original stronger tones can be seen on the very edge of the board, where the image was protected by the framing.

Treating Frescos with Light?

December 6 2021

Image of Treating Frescos with Light?

Picture: finestresullarte.info

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Interesting news from Italy that scholars from the University of Bologna and the Spanish firm CSIC (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas) have invented and patented a new technique to treat painted frescos. The technique involved coating frescos with a certain solution that is then subjected to light of a specific wavelength that helps dissolve calcium carbonate crystals. Such crystals are said to be one of the main causes for frescos to deteriorate. This method, it seems, can be used in a very precise way and is equally rather cost effective too.

The image pictured purports to show frescos treated using this very technique.

Restored 'Red Boy' on Display

December 1 2021

Image of Restored 'Red Boy' on Display

Picture: The National Gallery, London

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Gallery in London have finally redisplayed Thomas Lawrence's Charles William Lambton known as The Red Boy, a painting they had acquired earlier this summer for £9.3m. The painting has undergone conservation in the past few months and the transformation looks rather impressive indeed. The work is on display in Room 35.

Crack the code of egg-tempera paints

November 29 2021

Image of Crack the code of egg-tempera paints

Picture: Angewandte Chemie

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

For those readers who like an in-depth scientific analysis of painting materials, here's a recently published article that might be of interest.

This month's edition of the scientific journal Angewandte Chemie has an article on Connecting Rheological Properties and Molecular Dynamics of Egg-Tempera Paints based on Egg Yolk (paywall, unfortunately) penned by Dr. Agathe Fanost, Dr. Laurence de Viguerie, Dr. Guylaine Ducouret, Prof. Guillaume Mériguet, Dr. Philippe Walter, Helen Glanville, Dr. Anne-Laure Rollet, Prof. Maguy Jaber.

Confused by the title? According to the abstract:

Egg-tempera painting is a pictorial technique widely used in the Middle Ages, although poorly studied in its physico-chemical aspects until now. Here we show how NMR relaxometry and rheology can be combined to probe egg-tempera paints and shed new light on their structure and behavior. Based on recipes of the 15th century, model formulations with egg yolk and green earth have been reproduced to characterize the physicochemical properties of this paint at the mesoscopic and macroscopic scales. The rheological measurements highlight a synergetic effect between green earth and egg yolk, induced by the interactions between them and the structural organisation of the system. 1H NMR relaxometry emphasizes the presence and the structure of a network formed by the yolk and the pigment.

BMAG Raising Money to Conserve Burne Jones and Tapestry

November 24 2021

Image of BMAG Raising Money to Conserve Burne Jones and Tapestry

Picture: BMAG

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG) are raising funds to have two works of art conserved. The Museum have started a JustGiving page to raise £25,000 to have Burne Jones's The Star of Bethlehem (pictured) and William Morris's Holy Grail Tapestries professionally treated and conserved.

According to their JustGiving page:

The Star of Bethlehem is the worlds largest watercolour and its been on display at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery for 130 years. Its essential we replace its fragile glazing as well as carefully assessing and conserving the painting. 

The delicate Holy Grail tapestries are at serious risk of weakening and even tearing. They need conservation and a really good clean. We havent been able to display them since 2015 and they are currently in storage. 

These monumental artworks have an important place in the history of British art as well as being stars of Birminghams collection. This vital fundraising campaign will ensure that they can be enjoyed by you  and thousands of other visitors  for many years to come.

The Lady Lever Art Gallery Conserve and Redisplay Portrait

November 23 2021

Image of The Lady Lever Art Gallery Conserve and Redisplay Portrait

Picture: @LeverArtGallery

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Lady Lever Art Gallery in the Wirral have conserved and redisplayed Jean-Baptiste Santerre's 1705 Portrait of Catherine-Marie Legendre. The painting "is the only item in the gallery’s collection, from the 18th century, to depict a person of colour."

According to the gallery's website:

This disturbing portrait by Santerre is designed to impress by showing the sitter’s wealth and position in society. It shows a young boy, who is an enslaved African person, brought from a plantation to work as an unpaid house servant. He is wearing a decorative metal slave collar around his neck. His name is not known, but the sitter is Catherine-Marie Legendre (or Le Gendre, died 1749), the wife of French nobleman, Claude Pecoil (1629-1722), Marquise de Septème.  

The painting will be displayed with a label which asks: “Does this portrait belong on the walls of the gallery today? Does its display help us tell and understand the history of slavery? Or does it continue to honour someone who benefitted from the slave trade? In light of recent international events, we want to know what our visitors think. We are displaying the portrait to be transparent with visitors and begin this conversation.

Conservation of Pompeo Leoni's Gilded Bronzes

November 22 2021

Image of Conservation of Pompeo Leoni's Gilded Bronzes

Picture: Ministerio de Cultura y Deporte Instituto del Patrimonio Cultural de España

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

For those able to read Spanish, @Boro_PR on Twitter has drawn attention to this rather fascinating looking report published earlier this year on the conservation of Pompeo Leoni's gilded bronze funerary statues of the Duques de Lerma preserved in the Colegio de San Gregorio de Valladolid, Spain. These exquisite works of art were produced by Leoni in the early seventeenth century, a few years before his death in 1608.

The National Trust Redisplays Conserved Tapestry

November 18 2021

Image of The National Trust Redisplays Conserved Tapestry

Picture: The National Trust

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Institute of Conservation (ICON) have posted an extensive blog on the recent restoration of a fifteenth century tapestry kept at Montacute House in Somerset, a property owned and run by The National Trust. The work, dating to 1477 and woven by the workshop of Guillaume Desremaulx, has undergone 1,300 hours of documentation and conservation in Norfolk.

Back of the Night Watch on View

November 5 2021

Image of Back of the Night Watch on View

Picture: spiegel.de

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Ever been curious about what the back of Rembrandt's The Night Watch looks like? Well, The Rijksmuseum's latest phase of 'Operation Night Watch' has seen the arrangement of a new display to show the back of the canvas and stretcher. This rare opportunity is due to work by conservators to study the rear of the painting.

If you really want to see the back of the picture, then you only have until the 23rd November to do so!

Hogarth's Repainting to Halt Productions of Fakes

November 1 2021

Image of Hogarth's Repainting to Halt Productions of Fakes

Picture: The Sunday Times

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Sunday Times published a story yesterday on new research which shows how William Hogarth often repainted his famous pictures in order to halt the production of unofficial knock-off prints.

According to the article:

X-rays and infrared scans of Hogarth’s best-known works, A Rake’s Progress, show he changed some of the eight paintings in the series after completion, when knock-off prints started appearing before he had published his own.

After creating his originals, Hogarth would have smaller engravings made to be printed and sold. Plagiarism was rife, however, and pirate copies of his previous work, A Harlot’s Progress, had appeared a little over a week after prints had been delivered to his subscribers.

This new research will appear in the forthcoming Tate exhibition Hogarth and Europe which opens on 3rd November 2021.

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