Category: Conservation

Heemskerck Conserved and Decoupled

April 17 2024

Image of Heemskerck Conserved and Decoupled

Picture: historiek.net

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Interesting news from the Netherlands that a conservation project on Maarten van Heemskerk's Saint Luke Painting the Madonna has recently been completed. The painting, now in the Frans Hals museum, was found to have been two separate paintings which were joined and overpainted at some point during the end of the sixteenth century (click on the link above the see the before image). The work was undertaken in preparation for an exhibition on the artist which opens in September.

Foschi Transfiguration Restored

April 15 2024

Video: Firenze Fuori

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Pier Francesco Foschi's Transfiguration, preserved in the Basilica di Santo Spirito in Florence, has been conserved. The work was undertaken by Kyoko Nakahara and Francesca Brogi in collaboration with the Bottega d'arte Maselli.

Two Canovas Restored in Bologna

April 4 2024

Image of Two Canovas Restored in Bologna

Picture: ansa.it

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from Italy that two works by Canova have been restored. The Apollino in marble and the Head of an Old Man in terracotta were restored as part of a project by the Musei Civici d'Arte Antica di Bologna, and will go on public display from today onwards. The work was sponsored by the Fondazione Canova and undertaken by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure di Firenze. 

Prado Conserve Domenico Tintoretto Portrait

April 3 2024

Image of Prado Conserve Domenico Tintoretto Portrait

Picture: Prado

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Spanish Art Account @Boro_PR has noted on 'X' (formerly Twitter) that the Prado have cleaned Domenico Tintoretto's Young Venetian Woman. Famously, the museum owns a set of bust-length portraits of Venetian women by the artist.

Potter's Bull Restored Live

April 2 2024

Image of Potter's Bull Restored Live

Picture: denhaag.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Visitors to the Mauritshuis in the Hague will be able to watch the conservation of Paulus Potter's famous The Bull live! The 18-month project will include a detailed examination alongside a full restoration of the work, which will be able to be seen behind a glass screen (pictured).

In fact, a discovery has already been made during preliminary research for the project:

Preliminary research has revealed that the National Gallery of Ireland (Dublin) owns a painting that can be linked to The Bull [Pictured on the left side in the photo above]. Paintings Conservator Jolijn Schilder of the Mauritshuis discovered that Potter once made a large painting (approx. 2.10 m x 1.70 m) depicting The Abduction of Europa. It turns out that the oval painting Head of a White Bull was once part of this larger painting -- much of which has been lost, leaving only this fragment. The two bulls are different colours, but the heads are depicted in a very similar way. As a result, the ‘Irish’ bull will be an invaluable research companion for the ‘Dutch’ bull. The art historical and technical research into the Head of the White Bull is a collaborative project between the National Gallery of Ireland and the Mauritshuis. Both bulls will be on view during the technical examination at the Mauritshuis between March and May 2024.

Restoring the Louvre's Van Eyck

March 28 2024

Video: Louvre

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Louvre in Paris have made the following video detailing their recent work on Jan van Eyck's La Vierge et l'Enfant au chancelier Rolin. The work is currently the focal point of an exhibition at the museum which runs until June.

Titian's Annunciation Restored

March 27 2024

Image of Titian's Annunciation Restored

Picture: Italy 24 News Press

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from Venice that a special display of Titian's newly restored Annunciation has been opened at the Scuola Grande di San Rocco. A special campaign of restoration and research, which began in 2021 and was supported by the Save Venice campaign, has been concluded. The freshly conserved painting has been hung at eye level so that visitors can admire the picture up-close.

The display will continue until 2nd June 2024.

Yale Conserving Compton Verney's Allegory

March 25 2024

Image of Yale Conserving Compton Verney's Allegory

Picture: @yalebritishart

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Yale Center for British Art have shared news that they are conserving Compton Verney's intriguing seventeenth century Allegory (called a Double Portrait). The painting was acquired by the museum for £304,534 in 2023, after a temporary export license ban was placed on the work after it sold at auction in 2021. The rare painting is undergoing treatment and analysis as part of the 'YCBA's ongoing research on the theory and practise of painting skin tones.'

Boston MFA Conserves Vivarini Altarpiece

March 19 2024

Image of Boston MFA Conserves Vivarini Altarpiece

Picture: MFA Boston

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Museum of Fine Arts Boston have just concluded a five-year conservation project on a magnificent altarpiece by Bartolomeo Vivarini. Painted in 1485 for the church of St. Andrew, Rab, Croatia, the work has undergone vast sets of treatment for the frame, gilding, polychrome sculpture and panel paintings.

The altarpiece will be redisplayed in the museum's European galleries on 21st March 2024.

Boughton's Decade Ceiling Project Complete

March 18 2024

Video: Boughton House

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Boughton House, the home of the Duke of Buccleuch, has announced that a 10-year project to restore their 9 historic ceiling paintings has finally concluded. 8 out of 9 ceilings were painted by Louis Chéron during the turn of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and have been carefully restored by specialists experts from the company Perry Lithgow. The house will be open again for visitors from 30th March onwards (see the link for details of their opening dates and hours).

Spend day with Conservators and Curators at Apsley House

March 18 2024

Image of Spend day with Conservators and Curators at Apsley House

Picture: english-heritage.org.uk

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Apsley House in London are running an interesting day-long event in April with their conservation and curatorial team. Attendees will be seemingly able to listen to various talks on recent conservation projects and curatorial research related to the house and its historic collection of art.

The day will be held 19th April 2024 and is free for English Heritage members.

Chirk Castle Servant Portrait

March 14 2024

Image of Chirk Castle Servant Portrait

Picture: The National Trust

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Trust published a press release last week regarding a conservation and research project into a rare portrait at Chirk Castle. The painting depicts a former servant at the castle, John Wilton (c.1691-1751), who suffered from physical disabilities.

According to the trust's website:

John Chu, National Trust Senior Curator for Paintings and Sculpture explains: “We don’t know why Sir Richard Myddelton specifically gave John Wilton a home at the castle and why his cousin commissioned such a large portrait of him. The rarity of examples of full-length portraits of servants means we don’t know for sure how they were regarded at the time.

“While John Wilton is being celebrated as an individual, the gold inscription describing him as the ‘glory’ or ‘pride’ of the kitchen is in Latin. If there's a play on high and low forms of art and stations in life here, how fully could he have been in on the joke in this learned language?

"However, historic portraits typically record a relationship between at least three people; the artist, the sitter and the person who commissioned it. While this picture was painted for Robert Myddelton, a man of very high status, this is also an artistic document of one working man's encounter with another. We're seeing Wilton through Whitmore's eyes: and in that respect it provides an incredibly rare if not unique insight."

Click on the link to read more about this very intriguing work of art.

Holkham's Rosalba Carriera Conserved

March 14 2024

Image of Holkham's Rosalba Carriera Conserved

Picture: holkham.co.uk

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I'm a little late to the news that Holkham Hall have conserved their portrait of Edward, Viscount Coke (1719-1753) by Rosalba Carriera. Click here to read a blog about the artist and sitter, alongside a description of the conservation work undertaken by Deborah Bates. Many readers will know of how tricky it is to conserve pastels due to their incredible fragile nature. What a transformation!

Holbein's Anne of Cleves Cleaned

March 13 2024

Image of Holbein's Anne of Cleves Cleaned

Picture: Louvre

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A few accounts on social media have pointed out that the Louvre in Paris have conserved Hans Holbein's portrait of Anne of Cleves. As you can see, the results are miraculous, especially compared with its previous appearance (click on the link to see the old images). It just shows that Holbein really was amongst the leading portrait painters of his era, the face, colouring and details are just otherworldly. For an institution that is usually rather cautious with restoring their masterpieces, perhaps the tides are finally turning?

I can't see any further details yet on their press room website, so stay tuned!

Uffizi Restores and Redisplays Bronze

February 28 2024

Image of Uffizi Restores and Redisplays Bronze

Picture: ansa.it

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from Italy that the Uffizi Gallery in Florence have restored and redisplayed Jacopo Del Duca's bronze of Silenus and the Infant Bacchus. The work took six months to complete and included a readressing of bronze's surfance and base.

Conservation at Woburn Abbey

February 27 2024

Image of Conservation at Woburn Abbey

Picture: Woburn Abbey via. Instagram

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Woburn Abbey, the ancestral home of the Dukes of Bedford, have started populating their Instagram account with interesting details regarding the conservation of the building and historic collection. The historic site is currently undergoing a large-scale restoration project which is expected to last until 2026. Their most recent post details the cleaning and retouching of a portrait of Queen Victoria which usually hangs in the State Bedroom there (pictured).

The British Museum conserve Michelangelo's Epifania

February 26 2024

Image of The British Museum conserve Michelangelo's Epifania

Picture: The Telegraph

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Telegraph have published news that The British Museum have finished a six-year conservation project on Michelangelo's Epifania. The two-metre-tall cartoon consists of no less than 26 sheets that are glued together.

The project was undertaken in anticipation of the museum's Michelangelo: The Last Decades exhibition which will run from 2nd May 2024 until 28th July 2024.

Grimsthorpe Castle to conserve Thornhill Monarchs

February 21 2024

Image of Grimsthorpe Castle to conserve Thornhill Monarchs

Picture: grimsthorpecollection

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire have announced on their Instagram page that they will be sending Sir James Thornhill's monumental English Monarch grisailles to the Hamilton Kerr Institute for a special conservation project. This scheme of decoration was completed in the 1720s and the current restoration campaign will presumably take some time to complete!

Prado Conserves a Giampietrino

February 9 2024

Image of Prado Conserves a Giampietrino

Picture: @museoprado via. Instagram

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Prado in Madrid have published a very interesting video (in Spanish) regarding the recent conservation of a Giampietrino painting of St Catherine. The video with conservator María Moraleda explains that the background had been completely overpainted with some kind of blue sky. I'm sure speakers of Spanish will be able to gain further insights and might be able to point out where the painting can be found on the museum's website (my search has proven fruitless, alas!).

Van Eyck Restored at the Louvre

February 6 2024

Image of Van Eyck Restored at the Louvre

Picture: Louvre

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Louvre in Paris will be opening an exhibition next month dedicated to Jan van Eyck's La Vierge et l'Enfant au chancelier Rolin. The painting has just been conserved as part of a wider technical examination project of the artist's works. Alongside the recently restored painting, visitors will be able to delve deeper into the paintings and its history, alongside viewing 60 other relevant paintings, drawings, manuscripts and sculpture brought together for the exhibition.

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