Les Demoiselles: Conserving a Modern Masterpiece MoMA.org: The Museum of Modern Art Les Demoiselles: Conserving a Modern Masterpiece
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Analysis & Previous Treatments
Previous Treatments

The lining most probably occurred when Doucet acquired the painting from the artist in 1924 at the urging of André Breton. Indeed, correspondence from 1924 indicates that Paint BlisteringLes Demoiselles d'Avignon was brought to Charles Chapuis, a reliner, to be restretched and possibly restored. Lining would have corrected any distortions in the canvas caused by repeated rolling and enabled the work to be more easily mounted onto a stretcher with the additional fabric support. Unfortunately, as evidenced by the condition of the paint layer, the heat and moisture involved in the lining process caused some local blistering of paint [see: Paint Blistering] as well as the accumulation of glue adhesive [see: Glue Residue] on the surface. Blistering consists of small, localized bumps in the paint layer that are the result of the ground layer—which has a water-soluble Glue Residue animal-glue component—expanding underneath the paint and causing patches of blisters, a condition sometimes seen in glue linings from this period. The lining process also flattened some areas of the impasto and thereby emphasized the canvas's weave pattern, distorting the thinner, subtler passages of paint. Despite the cracking and loss of some paint along the edges of the rolling cracks, it may not be the case that Chapuis or even Picasso himself deemed the conditions serious enough to retouch the affected areas. In any event, the work was finally "treated like a classic," and was eventually installed in Doucet's Art Deco mansion in Neuilly, where it remained until 1937.

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