The conservation treatment of Women of Algiers in their Apartment.
Posted on 13 January 2022
After The Massacre at Chios in 2019, the restoration campaign for Eugène Delacroix's large format paintings continued in 2021 with Women of Algiers in their Apartment.
Painted by the artist after his return from travels in North Africa, the canvas was acquired by the state upon its creation in 1834. The colour layers are well preserved, but in recent decades, under the thick yellowed varnish, it had become difficult to detect the colour virtosity that had made Women of Algiers a model for the generation of Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painters.
Most of the deteriorated varnish was thus removed, and the appearance of cracks in the material was diminished. The application of a new natural varnish restored the colour saturation and contrast. The work can now be appreciated with understanding of thses words by the peinter Paul Signac: 'In Women of Algiers, [...] all of the warm, bright hues are balanced by their cool, tender complementary tones in a decorative symphony, marvellously imparting the sense of a calm, delightful harem'.
The campaign is continuing in 2022 with the conservation treatment of another Delacroix masterpiece, The Death of Sardanapalus, thanks to the patronage of Ms Isabelle Éalet.
The conservation treatment of 'Women of Algiers in their Apartment was carried out by Bénédict Trémolières and Luc Hurter in the Parisian premises of the Centre for Research and Restoration of the Museums of France (C2RMF), from April to October 2021.
Women of Algiers in their Apartment is to be found in room 700, Denon wing, level 1.
With a new themed presentation of its collection, placing special emphasis on recent acquisitions and conservation work, the Musée National Eugène-Delacroix invites visitors to uncover the secrets behind the Romantic painter’s monumental decoration. The exhibition runs from 11 September 2021 to 28 February 2022.