Les Demoiselles: Conserving a Modern Masterpiece MoMA.org: The Museum of Modern Art Les Demoiselles: Conserving a Modern Masterpiece
IntroductionHistory of the PaintingAnalysis & Previous TreatmentsTreatment 2003/04Phase 1: Treatment AnalysisPhase 2: CleaningPhase 3: RetouchingAsk The ConservatorGlossaryBibliographyConservation Home

Treatment 2003/04

A thorough examination has found the picture and its support (stretcher, lining, original canvas) to be in stable condition. The primary intent of the current treatment, which is expected to last approximately six months, is to remove discolored coatings and retouchings from the 1950 and 1963 treatments and eliminate the adhesive residue on the surface of the painting that remains from the earlier lining. This will present the painting in a state closer to its original condition. The treatment of the Les Demoiselles d'Avignon will proceed along the following outline:

Phase 1: Treatment Analysis
• Technical analysis (additional analysis will be done during the treatment phase)

Phase 2: Cleaning
• Remove surface dirt with an aqueous solution
• Remove wax and varnish layers with organic solvents
• Remove lining glue residue from surface
• Remove 1950 repaint and fill material

Phase 3: Retouching
• Reattach lifting canvas at the edges and consolidate any detached original paint
• Fill minor losses where necessary and add toning to match surrounding paint
• Adjust gloss locally with appropriate resin solution if necessary

Pictured at top:
Conservator Michael Duffy examining the painting under magnification

Copyright 2003 The Museum of Modern Art