"The Judgement of Paris" by M. Vrubel was restored in the STG

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In the Tretyakov Gallery, with the support of the SNS Group of Companies, a large—scale restoration of large paintings by Mikhail Vrubel - the triptych "The Court of Paris" was carried out.

2022 г_Триптих «Суд Париса»_М. Врубель.jpg

Since 2011, SNS GC has been supporting the restoration of iconic works from the collection of the State Tretyakov Gallery.

In March – September 2021, with the support of SNS GC, in preparation for the anniversary monographic exhibition "Mikhail Vrubel", a large—scale restoration of large-scale pictorial panels - the triptych "The Judgement of Paris" was carried out.

In 1893, Mikhail Alexandrovich Vrubel received an order to paint three panels and a ceiling to decorate the stairs in the mansion of K.G. Dunker and E.D. Dunker on Povarskaya Street in Moscow. The customers gave the artist the freedom to choose a theme, indicating only a desire to see "something related to the Renaissance." The artist chose the theme of the triptych, the ancient myth "The Judgement of Paris", popular in Renaissance art, about a kind of competition of three goddesses — Hera, Athena and Aphrodite (Vrubel used Roman names: Yunona, Minerva and Venera), who entered into a dispute about which of them is "the most beautiful". Paris, the son of the king of Troy, was destined to make a choice between them.

Restoration work was carried out by specialists of the Tretyakov Gallery under the guidance of the restorer of the highest category A.I. Golubeyko, head of the department of restoration of oil paintings of the XVIII – early XX century.

By the beginning of the restoration work, the painting of the triptych had significantly faded and darkened due to surface contamination and layers of old lacquer film, having lost the original coloring that delighted the artist's contemporaries.

Working with the painterly surface of the panel was particularly difficult for specialists because of the originality of Vrubel's artistic method. An important plastic technique of the master was the inclusion of an unscripted canvas in the composition of the work. In this regard, the restorers faced a difficult task: to remove dirt not only from the surface of the paint layer, but also from the unscripted canvas, recreating the overall color of the work. It was impossible to use traditional methods of cleaning the paint layer from dirt in this case, since liquid solvents changed the tone of the fragments of the open canvas, making them darker. Modern methods with the use of gels also did not give a positive result. After performing various tests, a mechanical method of dry cleaning of both the canvas and the paint layer was chosen using abrasive sponges made of volcanic latex with a neutral acidity index. The use of this restoration technique gave the desired result: the dirt was removed gently, without damaging the structure of the canvas, preserving its natural color and tone. Thus, the task of restoring the color of the author's painting was successfully solved.

To exhibit the triptych, flatbed stretchers were used, which have been included in the museum practice of the Tretyakov Gallery for a long time and have proved to be an excellent basis for large-format works.

After carrying out a complex of restoration works, unique panels were exhibited at an exhibition dedicated to the 165th anniversary of the birth of Mikhail Vrubel and held in 2021-2022 in the halls of the Tretyakov Gallery on Krymsky Val. Currently, the triptych "The Judgement of Paris" is again available to the audience and occupies its traditional place in the permanent exhibition in Lavrushinsky Lane in the Mikhail Vrubel Hall No. 34.