TEFAF Restoration Fund Saves Priceless Zurbarán Works

Francisco de Zurbarán, The Martyrdom of St. Serapion (1628). Collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford.

The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF) has announced the recipients of this year’s Museum Restoration Fund, Art Daily reports. The Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford were awarded a combined €50,000 ($62,000) for the restoration of early works by Francisco de Zurbarán.

The Kunstpalast Düsseldorf’s St. Francis of Assisi in Meditation (1639) is one of only five Zurbarán works in a public German institution. The Wadsworth Atheneum’s St. Serapion (1628) is considered to be one of Zurbarán’s best early works.

Time and poorly executed restoration efforts in the past have taken their toll on both paintings. The TEFAF grant will help pay for advanced, modern restorative techniques to return the paintings to their former glory. Experts will do their best to stabilize and and conserve the paintings for future generations to appreciate.

Museums and institutions that have attended the TEFAF Maastricht fair in the same year are eligible to apply for the annual grant. The winners are selected by an independent panel which was made up this year by Prof. Dr. Henk van Os, Dr. Kenson Kwok, Rachel Kaminsky, and David Bull.

Following restoration efforts, both paintings will go on public display. The Kunstpalast will hold an exhibition of Zurbarán’s work next fall. The Atheneum’s Zurbarán will also go on show in September of next year as part of a rehanging of the museum’s collection of European painting.

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