In connection with an important loan to the Palazzo Reale in Milan of six paintings and one sculpture by Salvador Dalí in connection with his first retrospective in Italy, all the works to be lent out were conserved and made presentable. Two paintings underwent a restoration. The treatments were carried out by studio Redivivus under the supervision of Gwendolyn Boevé-Jones.
The paintings Le grande paranoïaque from 1936, Le visage de la guerre from 1940, Table Solaire from 1936 and Impressions d'Afrique from 1938 were conserved and made presentable. This means checking the adhesion of the paint layer, removing surface dirt and suppressing any discoloured retouching. Furthermore, the framing was improved where necessary and the glass replaced with Optimum acrylic. On the Venus de Milo from 1936, a gap at the foot of the sculpture was filled in. The canvas Espagne from 1938 was restored; the badly discoloured varnish was removed and the unsightly coloured retouches were eliminated. The work was then completely retouched and varnished afresh. The restoration of another work by Dalí, started in 2008, was completed in 2010: the Couple with their head filled with clouds from1936. Because of the fragility of this work, it did not travel to Milan.
Landscape with girl skipping rope
The most comprehensive and time consuming restoration is that of Salvador Dalí’s triptych Landscape with girl skipping rope from 1936. The restoration of this monumental work took place in one of the exhibition galleries (12 June - 8 September 2010). It is the first time that the museum has carried out a restoration in the presence of spectators.
The most important reason for restoring Landscape with girl skipping rope is the yellowed layer of varnish and the unsightly discoloured retouches and overpainting, which disfigure particularly the middle section. As the middle section has a different history of restoration than the side panels, the triptych is seriously out of balance. The purpose of the restoration is to restore as much as possible the unity of the three panels. The frame of the middle section - which had been lost - was reconstructed by frame-maker Guy Sainthill based on the original frames of the side panels. The public restoration was followed with considerable interest by the visitors to the museum. For a movie about the restoration, see: www.arttube.nl.