Conservation treatment to damaged Monet to commence

Claude Monet, 'Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat', 1874.

NEWS RELEASE: 10 Aug 2012

National Gallery to begin conservation work to damaged Monet painting.

The National Gallery of Ireland will commence conservation treatment to Monet’s Argenteuil with a Single Sailboat (1874), which was badly damaged following an unfortunate incident by a member of the public in the Millennium Wing on June 29th, 2012.

Up until recently, the painting was under the jurisdiction of An Garda Síochana as part of their ongoing investigations into the incident. The painting has now been handed back into the control of the Gallery for the purposes of addressing urgent conservation treatment.

Welcoming the reinstatement of the Monet to the Gallery, Sean Rainbird, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland said: “Conservation work on the Monet is our primary concern given the extensive nature of the damage. The Gallery’s Conservation Department will begin a thorough assessment of the work to be carried out in consultation with colleagues in sister institutions. We anticipate the process of conservation could take up to a year.”

Conservation of the damaged Monet painting will be intricate and delicate. The painting has been badly perforated and torn. The first step will be to stabilise the painting in order to contain and eventually reduce the structural distortion of the canvas support.

Simone Mancini, Head of Conservation in the National Gallery of Ireland, says: “Our theoretical and technical conservation approach will be dictated by retaining the integrity and originality of the painting and it will encompass the application of the principle of reversibility, deceptivity and minimum intervention.”