From 2014 to 2016, Nationale Suisse is supporting restoration projects at the Kunsthaus Zürich. The aim is to preserve outstanding works of art that are currently in a precarious condition for the benefit of future generations. At the same time, the lessons learnt during the restoration will provide vital information to help improve Nationale Suisse’s art insurance offering.
Bonnard’s “Women in the Garden”
The collaboration begins with the restoration of a leading work from the Kunsthaus Zürich: Pierre Bonnard’s “Femmes au Jardin” (“Women in the Garden”). The Post-Impressionist painter, who was born in Fontenay-aux-Roses near Paris in 1867 and died at Le Cannet near Cannes in 1947, was one of the principal members of the group of artists known as the Nabis (“Prophets”), whose work was inspired by the style of Paul Gauguin and the Japanese woodcut.
Created in 1890/91, Bonnard’s four-part painting on paper was originally the uncompleted first version of a screen; the second version is in the Musée d’Orsay, Paris. The bold depiction of four female figures of differing sizes was a new departure for Bonnard. Today, this groundbreaking work is suffering from problems such as paint loss. The aim of the conservation work is to preserve its substance. The restoration is being carried out between March and August 2014, and the painting will be back on display at the Kunsthaus Zürich in 2015.
Dada Collection and Painting by Giacomo Balla
The restoration of “Women in the Garden” will be followed in 2015 by a project to digitise and partially restore the Kunsthaus’s extensive collection of Dada works, ahead of two Dada exhibitions the following year to mark the centenary of this important art movement. The project for 2016 involves the restoration of a 1913 painting by the Italian Futurist Giacomo Balla: “Velocità d'Automobile + Luce + Rumore” (“Speed of an Automobile + Light + Sound”).
For more information about the restoration of “Women in the Garden”, see Kunsthaus Zürich: Pierre Bonnard.