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The West Gallery of The Frick Collection Peter Paul Rubens, The Holy Women at the Sepulchre Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, The Birth of Saint John the Baptist Francisco de Zurbarán, Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and a Rose Jacopo Bassano (Jacopo da Ponte), The Flight into Egypt Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, called Guercino, Aldrovandi Dog
 
Special Exhibition
 

Jacopo Bassano
The Flight into Egypt

Peter Paul Rubens
The Holy Women at the Sepulchre

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri called Guercino
Aldrovandi Dog

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
The Birth of Saint John the Baptist

Francisco de Zurbarán
Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and a Rose

Masterpieces of European Painting from the Norton Simon Museum
February 10 through May 10, 2009

The Cleaning of a Masterpiece

Overview | Radiograph | Before Treatment | Varnish | After Conservation | Podcast

Losses to the painting’s surface have been treated and filled. The composition is now cohesive and luminous, and Zurbarán’s gentle illumination of the composition is apparent. The shadows cast across the table’s surface by the objects are more legible as well. 

Mark Leonard, Chief Conservator in The J. Paul Getty Museum’s Paintings Conservation Department, summarizes the results of the cleaning: “Four diamond-shaped wooden inlays in the four corners of the tabletop have been uncovered; they provide a visual — and perhaps iconographical — boundary for the iconic objects, subtly refocusing attention from the edges of the composition back toward the still life. In addition, the lower edge of the table has once again become legible. It can now be seen in the lower right corner that the artist’s inscription of his name and date was applied to the table edge itself.”

Because of the painting’s recent treatment, visitors to the exhibition can fully enjoy the subtle details and excellent condition of Zurbarán’s masterpiece.  

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Francisco de Zurbarán?s Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and a Rose of 1633
Francisco de Zurbarán’s Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and a Rose of 1633. Photograph of the painting after conservation. Software courtesy of Magic Toolbox.

The Cleaning of a Masterpiece photography courtesy of The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.


The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated publication with an essay by Sara Campbell, Senior Curator, the Norton Simon Museum, as well as in-depth catalogue entries by Margaret Iacono, Assistant Curator, The Frick Collection. The softcover publication is available in the Museum Shop of the Frick, and by phone 212-288-0700.

Principal funding for Masterpieces of European Painting from the Norton Simon Museum  is provided by Melvin R. Seiden in honor of Colin B. Bailey. Major corporate support is provided by Fiduciary Trust Company International. Additional support is generously provided by the Thaw Charitable Trust and Mr. and Mrs. John P. Birkelund. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.