Posts Tagged ‘art blunders’

Fixing “The Actor”

In Uncategorized on February 5, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Picasso’s Rose Period painting “The Actor” has hung in the Metropolitan Museum of Art for over half a century. However, after a woman taking an adult education class at the Met accidentally fell into the painting, causing a six-inch tear, experts are trying to determine how to go about fixing the delicate 105-year old painting.  Luckily, the vertical tear runs along the lower-right hand corner of the painting and does not disrupt the picture’s main focal points. Thus, according to a recently released statement, the repair will be “unobtrusive.”

In 2006, billionaire casino owner Stephen A. Wynn elbowed “Le Rêve (“The Dream”), a 1932 Picasso painting depicting a mistress of the painter (see image, below). While Wynn’s blunder produced a sizable hole, the fissure was masterfully repaired, leaving no visible signs of damage.

Apparently, though, repairing a 1904-created Picasso (such as “The Actor”) presents more problems than that of a torn 1932 Picasso because earlier canvases are more delicate, and the oil paint that Picasso used was thinner than the enamel-based kind he later used.

Painted when the artist was just 23-years old, “The Actor” is the largest piece created early in his career, and dealers estimate it is worth over $100 million. Accordingly, experienced art restorers have important decisions to make – as there are many options and a range of materials and instruments that could be used to repair the valuable painting.

Click here to read more about this story (including details about the painting, how restorers sometimes use acupuncture needs to fix damaged paintings, and about further issues plaguing the painting’s restoration).