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Kunsthaus Zürich

Pierre Bonnard

The restoration: reasons and objectives

Detail of «Woman in a Polka-Dot Dress»: areas of paint loss due to inadequate adhesion.
Detail of «Woman in a Polka-Dot Dress»: areas of paint loss due to inadequate adhesion.

The unstable paint layer required particularly urgent attention. In many areas it was loose, lifting or had already been lost. There were also sections where the paintwork was powdering or granular and had little adhesion; these needed extensive treatment. The principal reason for the work’s condition was the painting technique used, which involved very dry, underbound matt paint on paper.

 

 

Detail (raking light image) of «Seated Woman»: Roof-shaped area of lifting paint without adhesion to the underlying layer. Further losses can be expected unless the paint is consolidated.
Detail (raking light image) of «Seated Woman»: Roof-shaped area of lifting paint without adhesion to the underlying layer. Further losses can be expected unless the paint is consolidated.

The chief aim of the work carried out, which was mainly conservatory in nature, was therefore to examine the stability of the paintwork under a microscope, consolidate the loose areas, and repair the losses in the paint layer.

 

 

 

 

Detail of: «Woman in a Polka-Dot Dress»: Multiple scratches in the sensitive paintwork date from the time before the works were placed behind glass.
Detail of: «Woman in a Polka-Dot Dress»: Multiple scratches in the sensitive paintwork date from the time before the works were placed behind glass.