Thursday, December 22, 2016

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston displays newly conserved altarpiece by Benjamin West

MFA staff installs the painting in the Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro gallery.
MASSACHUSETTS---The recently acquired "Devout Men Taking the Body of Saint Stephen" (1776) by Benjamin West is one of the largest paintings in the MFA’s collection—together with its towering frame, it measures more than 18 1/2 feet tall. Over the past two years, the monumental altarpiece was treated in the Conservation in Action studio, where Museum visitors were able to witness the gradual process of cleaning and restoring the work. The painting and its original gilded wood frame, which was also conserved, are now reunited as the dramatic centerpiece of a new installation that explores how 18th-century artworks and artists traveled across both intellectual and geographical borders. [link]