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Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Stripped!

by Conservation


behind the scenes , conservation , paintings , paintings conservation , European Painting & Sculpture

André Derain’s The Bridge at Le Pecq in conservation


This colorful painting by André Derain (1880-1954) is in the lab to prepare it for an upcoming international loan. Random discoveries are often made when a work is unframed. Here, brilliant blue strips of painted paperboard that are tacked to the sides of the stretcher were revealed. Ordinarily covered by the frame, these strips are undoubtedly an addition made by the artist, and as such, will remain in place, even though they are not usually visible. The painting is an unlined and unvarnished work and the canvas is exposed throughout the composition. Now a light brown, the bare linen is an important component of the painting’s color palette. Our conservator will perform a light cleaning and then reframe the delicate work under special-order, optically-clear laminated glass in order to protect it during its travels. Look for this lively work to return to our galleries next year.


Image Credit: André Derain (French, b.1880, d.1954), The Bridge at Le Pecq, 1904-1905, oil on canvas, Museum Purchase: Bequest of Mary E. Johnston, by exchange, and The Edwin and Virginia Irwin Memorial, 2005.16.