Monet goes back on display

PRESS RELEASE: 01 July 2014 

Restored Monet painting back on public view in the National Gallery of Ireland.

‘Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat’ (1874)

Claude Monet Research and Conservation Project Supported by BNP Paribas and the BNP Paribas Foundation

The National Gallery of Ireland and BNP Paribas are pleased to announce the completion of the Claude Monet Research and Conservation Project.‘Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat’ (1874) by Claude Monet (1840-1926), was damaged while on public display in the National Gallery of Ireland on June 29th, 2012. The canvas had been perforated to form an extensive three-branch tear. Fragments of paint and priming layers had also been lost from the surrounding site of the damage. Following eighteen months of extensive research, analysis and conservation work carried out by the National Gallery of Ireland’s Conservation Department, the painting is now restored and ready to go back on public view in the Gallery. The primary aim of the project was to conserve and restore the damage, returning the painting to display in the Gallery in a repaired and stable condition. Conservation of the painting has been carried out by Simone Mancini, Head of Conservation; Ele von Monschaw, Paintings Conservator, and Pearl O’Sullivan, Claude Monet Paintings Conservation Fellow.

Sean Rainbird, Director, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin:

“We are delighted to share the beauty of our Monet painting once again with our visitors. This project to restore and conserve one of the Gallery’s most popular Impressionist works of art is testament to the outstanding expertise and dedication of our professional team of conservators. We have been most fortunate in securing the support of BNP Paribas Ireland and the BNP Paribas Foundation which allowed us to undertake a comprehensive approach to the project."

Simone Mancini, Head of Conservation, National Gallery of Ireland:

“Conservation today demands a multidisciplinary approach inclusive of technical, ethical and aesthetic aspects as well as preliminary documentation and scientific analyses. These factors altogether should represent the overall theoretical approach to conservation, encompassing the entire physical structure of the work including evidence of its history and deterioration processes. Though the main focus of conservation is on the physical care of works of art, competing aspects are nevertheless part of the equation. It is important to apply diverse cultural approaches and technical methodologies. The National Gallery’s approach to the conservation of Monet’s painting was primarily dictated by the need to retain the integrity and originality of the painting and by applying the principles of reversibility, clarity and minimum intervention.” The Claude Monet Research and Conservation Project has been generously supported by BNP Paribas Ireland and the BNP Paribas Foundation. Funding for the project provided for a Monet Paintings Conservation Fellow, specialist tools and materials, research, and the publication of an online education resource on the National Gallery’s French nineteenth-century collection.

Jean-Jacques Goron, Managing Director, BNP Paribas Foundation:

“I am extremely proud that our Foundation has been able to contribute to the conservation of a work by Claude Monet, one of the 19th century’s greatest artists. ‘Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat’ has been returned to its original luminous éclat and again hangs prominently in the National Gallery of Ireland. This partnership with the National Gallery of Ireland over the past two years is eloquent testimony to the strong ties between our two institutions and underlines the commitment of the BNP Paribas Foundation to Ireland’s heritage.”

Gilles de Decker, Country Head Ireland, BNP Paribas:

“The Monet conservation project was proposed to us at BNP Paribas at the time we were considering our plans to celebrate our 40-year presence in Ireland. Notwithstanding the obvious appeal of the links between Ireland and France as represented by the painting, it was an opportunity to step-up during a challenging time for Ireland. BNP Paribas is part of society in Ireland with a role to play in corporate and social responsibility which stretches beyond our day-to-day jobs. This is a long-term investment in the heritage of Ireland which echoes the 40-year presence of the Group here.”

For information on the research and conservation work carried out on the Monet painting see attached supplementary materials, or visit



The National Gallery of Ireland is especially grateful for the support of BNP Paribas and the BNP Paribas Foundation in sponsoring the Claude Monet Research and Conservation Project. Through their generous support, the position of Monet Conservation Fellowship was made possible; a learning programme for Irish students was implemented; travel and research funds were made available and specialist tools and materials were purchased.The exchange of professional advice and encouragement was of particular importance to the research stage of this project. Sincere thanks to Pierre Curie, Head of Conservation in the Research and Restoration Centre of Musées de France (C2RMF) and his colleagues; Luc Bouiller, Head of Research (C2RMF); Francisca Hourriere; Bénédicte Trémolières; Christian David; Marie-Liesse Boquien. Specialised tear mending advice was of great assistance during the practical stage of conservation. This was provided particularly by Petra Demuth, Dipl. Rest., Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences at the Fachhochschule Cologne. Links formed with fellow Irish Institutions allowed for valuable analysis to be carried out on material components of the painting. Special thanks are due to Dr. David Savage of The State Laboratory of Ireland; Dr Heath Bagshaw at the Centre for Microscopy and Analysis in Trinity College; and Dora Murphy and Carol Smith at the National Museum of Ireland. 

BNP Paribas for Art Programme and the National Gallery of Ireland

As part of the BNP Paribas for Art programme, BNP Paribas Ireland and the BNP Paribas Foundation have provided support to the National Gallery of Ireland for the research and conservation of Claude Monet’s painting ‘Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat’.

BNP Paribas for Art Programme

BNP Paribas for Art Programme was created in 1994 by the BNP Paribas Foundation to help restore works of art held by museums. This restoration work is essential to preserve their rich cultural heritage and make it available to current and future generations. In the 20 years since its creation, the programme has enabled the restoration of over 200 works from every period of art history at France’s most prestigious museums and monuments, including the Château de Versailles (ceiling of the Salon d’Hercule painted by François Lemoyne), the Centre Georges Pompidou (My Flower Bed by Yayoi Kusama) and the Musée d’Orsay (pastel collection). The programme extends to museums throughout France, including the Musée des Augustins in Toulouse (15th century statue of the Virgin and Child, the, Nostre Dame de Grasse), the Musée de l’Abbaye Sainte-Croix at Sables d’Olonne (Gaston Chaissac collection) and the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Quimper (restoration of early Italian paintings). As the BNP Paribas group expands internationally, the BNP Paribas Foundation has since 2004 participated in restoration projects at major museums around the world, including the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, Germany (Triptych of the Virgin by Macrino d’Alba), the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia (The Boar Hunt by Franz Snyders), the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia (The crossing of the Red Sea by Nicolas Poussin), the Art Gallery of Ontario in Canada (Jar of Apricots by Jean-Baptiste Chardin), The Fine Arts Museum of Montréal, Canada (Interior with a woman playing a virginal by Emanuel de Witte), the Byzantine and Christian Museum in Athens, Greece (ten post-Byzantine frescoes), the Van Loon Museum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands (six panels painted by Jurriaan Andriessen), the Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow, Russia (Natalia Goncharova’s triptych The Bathers), the future Mosaic Museum in Alexandria, Egypt (restoration in progress of mosaics discovered in Alexandria dating from antiquity), the National Palace of Taiwan (mirror box of the 18th century), the Neue Pinakotheke of Munich, Germany (Lock in the Optevoz Valley by Charles-François Daubigny), and the Peranakan Museum in Singapore, with restoration of a beaded tapestry dating from the early 20th century. 

About BNP Paribas Ireland

BNP Paribas is a leader in banking and financial services in Europe. The three main activities of BNP Paribas are complementary, providing strategic strength and assuring the bank financial solidity: Retail Banking, Investment Solutions and Corporate & Investment Banking. BNP Paribas ( has been active in Ireland for over 40 years and employs over 200 people locally. Replicating the diversity of the Group model, Ireland offers the varied activities of corporate and investment banking, fund administration, and commercial property services to our clients while also providing IFSC-based services to the wider BNP Paribas Group internationally.

About the BNP Paribas Foundation - 30 years of Corporate Philanthropy

Under the aegis of the Fondation de France, the BNP Paribas Foundation has been playing a key role in corporate philanthropy for 30 years. It is also encouraging and contributing to the BNP Paribas’ philanthropic policy growth in all parts of the world where the Group does business. The BNP Paribas Foundation’s activities are aimed at promoting innovative projects dedicated to culture, social inclusion and the environment. It is paying close attention to provide optimal support to its partners, through a long-term commitment. Dialogue, loyal support and a relationship based on trust are the hallmarks of its involvement. The year 2014 marks the 30th anniversary of the BNP Paribas Foundation. Since it was set up in 1984, more than 300 cultural projects, 40 scientific research programmes and around one thousand social and educational initiatives have benefited from its support, in France and across the world.

About BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas has a presence in 75 countries with more than 180,000 employees, including more than 140,000 in Europe. It ranks highly in its three core activities: Retail Banking, Investment Solutions and Corporate & Investment Banking. In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leader in consumer lending. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail banking model across Mediterranean basin countries, in Turkey, in Eastern Europe and a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Investment Banking and Investment Solutions activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas and solid and fast-growing businesses in Asia-Pacific.