In the summer of 1934 Max Ernst painted the twenty-two square meter monumental nymph garden painting “Pétales et jardin de la Nymphe Ancolie” in a niche in the Mascotte-Bar in Zürich. The mural was removed from the wall in the late 50s and for close to forty-five years now, can be seen in the Kunsthaus Zürich. The painting holds particular importance in the artist’s oeuvre as it is one of few remaining large format pieces realized using this technique.
The many years spent in a bar and the removal from the wall have left clear marks. Thus, two thirds of the mural have been painted over and the entire effect of the colors has changed dramatically. Due to these major interferences the mural in could really no longer be considered an authentic Max Ernst.
The goal of the restoration was to remove the coats of non-original paint and varnish and to thereby reveal the authentic character of the painting. During the exhibition “Max Ernst. Im Garten der Nymphe Ancolie” (Tinguely Museum Basel ) from September 12th to January 27th 2008, it was possible to watch the conservators work. From February 2008 the restoration treatments were continued in the Kunsthaus Zurich. In mid-October it left for The Menil Collection in Houston to participate in a Max Ernst-exhibition.
The restoration of Max Ernst’s “Pétales et jardin de la Nymphe Ancolie”, on permanent loan from the Kunsthaus Zürich to the Museum Tinguely, is supported by the Museum Tinguely, a cultural commitment of Roche and the Foundation BNP Paribas of Switzerland.