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Restoration of ‘The Three Marys at the Tomb’

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s restoration studio worked on the restoration of the masterpiece ‘The Three Marys at the Tomb’ for six months. After probing research there is no longer any doubt that this painting was executed by Jan van Eyck himself.

Unveiling of the painting after its restoration, with Annetje Boersma and Friso Lammertse. Photo: Kees Spruijt.
Unveiling of the painting after its restoration, with Annetje Boersma and Friso Lammertse. Photo: Kees Spruijt.

‘The Three Marys at the Tomb’ is the only Van Eyck work in the Netherlands and is part of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen collection. The panel was added to the museum collection in 1958, when the museum acquired the collection of the shipping magnate D.G. van Beuningen. The painting was the crowning glory of his art collection and was also his most expensive purchase.

After extensive study with the aid of infrared and X-ray techniques, from March 2012 the painting was restored in the museum’s restoration studio. The restoration brought exceptional details to light, such as the dirt that Van Eyck painted onto the windows of the buildings. The light of the rising sun that is cast across the city - a detail that Jan van Eyck alone could have painted in such a manner - radiates anew.

A video was made about the restoration and history of ‘The Three Marys at the Tomb’. It is being screened as part of the exhibition, but you can already view the trailer of this documentary on ARTtube, the online video channel of five museums from the Netherlands and Flanders.

The restauration has been made possible by Nedspice.

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