Les Demoiselles: Conserving a Modern Masterpiece MoMA.org: The Museum of Modern Art Les Demoiselles: Conserving a Modern Masterpiece
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Pablo Picasso. Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. 1907.

This Web site is devoted to the conservation of Pablo Picasso's painting Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907), a pivotal work in the development of modern art and in The Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection. The conservator's decision to restore this painting was informed by archival research and technical analysis, in consultation with the Museum's curatorial staff.

A thorough examination has found Les Demoiselles d'Avignon to be in stable condition. Our analysis has also revealed that the accumulation of surface dirt, discoloration of wax and varnish used in previous treatments, and mismatched restoration paint has affected the overall appearance of the painting.

The restoration of Les Demoiselles d'Avignon was completed in December 2004. Progress reports, data, and photographs have been posted on this site to chart the restoration process [see: Conservator’s Update March 2004, June 2004 and January 2005]. MoMA is pleased to introduce visitors to this crucial aspect of museum work with clear explanations of the processes involved and definitions of the technology and materials used in conservation.


Pictured at top:
Pablo Picasso. Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. 1907. Oil on canvas, 8' x 7' 8" (243.9 x 233.7 cm). Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest. © 2003 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Copyright 2003 The Museum of Modern Art