Monday, January 18, 2016

Venice: Gallerie dell’Accademia – Restoration - Jheronimus Bosch


Gallerie dell’Accademia – Restoration - Jheronimus Bosch 500. The international program of celebrations throughout 2016 to remember the great Dutch artist, Jheronimus Bosch on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of his death, starts in Venice with the preview presentation of the restoration of two of the three polyptychs belonging to the collections of the Gallerie dell’Accademia: The Triptych of St. Uncumber and the Four Visions of the Hereafter. The third work, preserved in Venice, the Hermit Saints Triptych, is currently in the final phase of restoration and will be exhibited at Gallerie dell’Accademia in the second half of May 2016.

Photo by Matteo de Fina – Courtesy Gallerie dell’Accademia

Gallerie dell’Accademia – Restoration - Jheronimus Bosch 500. The preview of Triptych of St. Uncumber, and Four Visions of the Hereafter can be admired inside the museum of Gallerie dell’Accademia, until 7 February, 2016;  a unique event enriched by the setting up of a multimedia station which offers some phases of the restoration through images and video. The three Venetian works of Jheronimus Bosch represent significant moments in the production of the Dutch painter, characterized by evocative fairy tales, that, through splashes of color and light touches, created, fantastic and unreal, dreamlike visions, sometimes agonizing, sometimes tormented, undeniably unique,  a product of a peculiar interpretation of reality that still remains a mystery.
The central panel represents the crucifixion of a female saint, Uncumber (also called Liberata or Wilgefortis). The left wing shows St. Anthony in meditation, the right wing a monk leading a soldier. Originally a kneeling male donor appeared on each wing. These figures were over painted but are now revealed through X-radiology, infrared reflectology and infrared photography. According to dendrochronlogy analysis of the central panel’s wood, the youngest growth ring dates from 1480, so the panel could not have been painted before 1489, and an execution before 1493 is unlikely. The exteriors of both wings have been stripped; what was represented there is unknown.
Above. Triptych of St. Uncumber and a detail before and after restoration.

Paola Marini, director of the Gallerie dell’Accademia, Joost Klarenbeek, deputy ambassador of the Netherlands in Italy, Charles de Mooij, director of  Het Noordbrabants Museum and Paul Rupp, president of BRCPBosch Research and Conservation Project.

Hieronymus Bosch is the most important and most original medieval artist our country has ever produced. It is long-cherished ambition to get the vast majority of his works back to his hometown in 2016. And a great opportunity for a new generation to get acquainted with this work, which is unique in every respect.”
Charles de Mooij
Director - Het Noordbrabants Museum

Restoration - Jheronimus Bosch. To mark the 500th year since his death, Het Noordbrabants Museum is presenting the exhibition, ‘Jheronimus Bosch - Visions of genius’, from 13th February to 8th May 2016. For one time only, the majority of his work will return to his city, Den Bosch, officially known as ’s-Hertogenbosch. The works come from the world’s major collections and many have been restored especially for this occasion through the BRCP-Bosch Research and Conservation Project. In the exposition there will be over 20 paintings, 19 designs and different triptychs and panels, for the first time brought together in a unique exhibition
Above. Charles de Mooij, Director of Het Noordbrabants Museum and Paul Rupp, president of BRCP – Bosch Research and Conservation Project.

Photo courtesy BCRP

Restoration - Jheronimus Bosch – BRCP. The restoration of the three polyptychs, started in 2013, funded by the BRCP- Bosch Research and Conservation Project and the Getty Foundation in Los Angeles, and was completely produced in Venice, in the laboratories of restorations at Misericordia. The most advanced techniques of diagnosis and intervention have been used. In particular, to document the complex and innovative diagnostic process in relation to the works.

Above. The side by side viewer allows for an interactive view of each of the painted surfaces. It Is thus possible to switch from high resolution vision into ultraviolet photography and infrared reflectography, or combine different visions or exploit the real-time image resizing using the mouse.
Robert G. Erdmann, who is responsible for viewer technology, image processing, digital infrastructure, interaction design and website design.

Jheronimus Bosch - Four Visions of the Hereafter
This series of four panels represents punishment and reward: the Fall of the Damned and Hell, in opposition to Earthly Paradise and Ascent into Heaven. The reverses  are painted to imitate marble, two panels in red and two in green.  Dendrochronology shows the youngest annual growth ring to be from 1473. Thus, the panels were not painted before 1482, and probably not before 1486. The panels’ original function and arrangement are unknown. There is no signature, and the generally accepted attribution to Bosch is based on stylistic analysis only. The ascent of blessed souls to the light through a tapering tunnel is one of the most acclaimed details in the Bosch oeuvre.

Jheronimus Bosch - Four Visions of the Hereafter – back
Luuk Hoogstede, panel painting conservator and head restorer Giulio Bono

Jheronimus Bosch - Four Visions of the Hereafter
Detail – Hell
Jheronimus Bosch - Four Visions of the Hereafter

Detail – Ascent into Heaven

  Photo by Matteo de Fina – Courtesy Gallerie dell’Accademia
The Venetian Restoration Team headed by Matteo Ceriana and co-ordinated by Maria Chiara Maida, director of the Laboratorio di Restauro Dipinti della Misericordia.
 The Accademia Bridge seen from The Gallerie dell’Accademia


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