Skip to Main Content
Sign In
Visit Apply Give

News Barnes Foundation unveils The Large Bathers

Image Picker for Section 0

​Left: Barbara Buckley, the Barnes conservator of paintings and director of conservation, in front of Cézanne's "The Large Bathers." Right: Anya Shutov, a conservator of paintings at the Barnes Foundation, points out an area in an X-ray image of "The Large Bathers" where damage was found along a seam of attached canvas. (Images: MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer, The Philadelphia Inquirer)

​​WUDPAC Class of 2005 alumna Anya Shutov is part of the team working to conserve this important work by Paul Cézanne at The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.

Excerpted from Stephan Salisbury's article "A tale of two Philadelphia bathers, now cleaned up and ready to strut their stuff" in the November 26, 2019 issue of The Philadelphia Inquirer:


Looking at Paul Cézanne’s The Large Bathers, one of the jewels of the Barnes Foundation’s 69 works by the French master, visitors to the gallery on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway are most likely unaware of the painting’s dramatic life. Cézanne was working on it when he died in 1906. He’d expanded the canvas at least twice, fiddled with the size of the figures, fiddled with the contours of a tree, fiddled with a hand, slapped on paint, wiped it off, redrew at least one figure, left heads worthy of a cubist sketch, and generally fussed over it for 11 years.

Up the Parkway, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, visitors have also been likely unaware of drama surrounding Pierre-August Renoir’s The Great Bathers, an 1887 work that has undergone anxiety-producing preservation treatments (including a death-defying complete removal of paint from canvas in a restoration effort prior to the art museum’s stewardship). But much light has recently been cast on the complex histories of these two masterworks, thanks to conservation grants bestowed by the Bank of America. . . . The Barnes’ Bathers is in the final stages of its yearlong conservation saga and will soon return to pride of place on the east wall of the main gallery, above Renoir’s The Artist’s Family (1896). Visitors will be able to see it there starting Dec. 18.

“So the first part of the year was a lot of technical analysis,” said Barbara Buckley, the Barnes conservator of paintings and director of conservation. “That was the goal of the project — to do technical analysis so that we come to a better understanding of the materials Cézanne used in making the painting. The analysis also included different imaging techniques. … And I have also traveled to the National Gallery in London to look at their painting [the third of Cézanne’s Bathers] and talk to their conservators.” As she spoke, Buckley and conservator Anya Shutov stood before Large Bathers, which was propped on an easel at one end of the lab. The painting shimmered with a color far richer than evident when it’s displayed high on the wall of the Barnes gallery. . . . “We did infrared reflectography, which shows us the under drawing — the first sketch the artist makes on canvas before he starts painting,” said Shutov. “You can see some of the, probably, crayon lines that were put in to outline the figures, the basket, and other elements of the painting, the drapery.”


To learn more about the painting, the conservation treatment, and the artist's process, read the full article here.

News Story Supporting Images and Text
Used in the Home Page News Listing and for the News Rollup Page
WUDPAC alumna Anya Shutov is part of the team working to conserve this important work by Paul Cézanne at The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.

​WUDPAC alumna Anya Shutov is part of the team working to conserve this important work by Paul Cézanne at The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.

11/29/2019
Page Settings and MetaData:
(Not Shown on the Page)
Page Settings
Barnes Foundation unveils The Large Bathers
 
No
 
 
MetaData for Search Engine Optimization
Barnes Foundation unveils The Large Bathers
 
  • The Department of Art Conservation
  • 303 Old College
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-3489
  • art-conservation@udel.edu