http://www.kunsthaus.ch/en/the-collection/conservation/examples-from-the-world-of-art-conservation/aristide-maillol/?redirect_url=title%3DCommunique%D0%93%C2%A9s

Kunsthaus Zürich

Aristide Maillol

Restoration project of the seven sculptures in the collection

Vénus au collier, 1918; bronze, 175 x 62 x 44 cm
Vénus au collier, 1918; bronze, 175 x 62 x 44 cm

Aristide Maillol (1861-1944) was, together with Auguste Rodin, the most important bronze sculptor at the turn of the 19th century and is represented in the Kunsthaus Zürich with seven sculptures from almost all phases of his life's work. Rounded forms, compact surfaces, and classic poses characterize his figures, which throughout his career he devotes to a precise female image.

 

 

 

 

 

Damage at the upper part of the body - before the restauration
Damage at the upper part of the body - before the restauration

Two of the Kunsthaus sculptures stand out as particularly noteworthy: the somewhat eccentric “Monument à Cézanne”, which joined the collection as a donation from Werner and Nelly Bär, and the life-size “Venus with Necklace”, which Maillol created between 1918 and 1929 and which is one of his most known works. The upright female figure, in which voluptuousness and gracefulness meet, represents Maillol at the height of his artistic endeavors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Detail of the right hand before the treatment
Detail of the right hand before the treatment

One of few examples from the period, this valuable bronze was acquired direct from its creator as far back as 1931 and kept in the open air for a long time, causing substantial weathering of its surface. It has now undergone a thorough cleaning and restoration similar to the work carried out some years ago on Rodin’s ‘Gates of Hell.’ Following careful and intricate retouching of the surface, beautiful Venus can once again take her rightful place among the bronzes of Maillol and Rodin and be exhibited as part of the collection for the first time in decades.

The restoration was supported by the
BNP Paribas Suisse Foundation.