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Trashed Russian Old Masterpiece Saved

Posted · 4 Comments

This painting has a great story I’m sure you’ll find interesting, even in its abbreviated form:

Painted in 1903, a Russian artist from St. Petersburg sent this painting to America to be exhibited in 1904 at the St. Louis International Exhibition to celebrate the Louisiana Purchase. An art dealer gathered paintings from his country’s best artists to expose their artwork to American buyers but once the paintings were in the United States complications arose. The paintings were shown but the dealer refused to past the custom’s duties. So, after the expo, the paintings were held in limbo for a number of years until they were auctioned off, by Presidential decree. This painting ended up at the De Young Museum, then the Oakland Museum of Art and then to several high end collectors, until it landed unceremoniously buried in stuff in a warehouse sometime in the 1960’s we assume.

Recently, the painting was unceremoniously designated to be discarded until a sharp-eyed collector saved it from the dumpster. What probably happened was that after a small rip had been repaired poorly, then another, and another… finally, the damage and the dirty surface made it fit for “long term storage” where it was forgotten… until someone started to clear things out.

orignal details and colors being revealed through cleaning

orignal details and colors being revealed through cleaning

This photo shows a detail of the painting during cleaning of the overpaint and discolored varnish revealing exquisite details and artistic quality. We’ll keep you posted as we resurrect the gorgeous woman in a white dress enjoying the good life.

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4 Responses to "Trashed Russian Old Masterpiece Saved"
  1. Patty Reinhart says:

    Nice article, nice blog, I twittered about your blog so al my contacts could know about it. Good info. Thank you.

  2. Rowena says:

    This site has good info and stories and it makes sense. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Violita says:

    Nice information. We really need to save our stuff if its legally, financially or emotionally important for our families. It’s really nice to bring back all the memories when you look through the boxes to get organized..

  4. Charlie Pugh says:

    Such an interesting article. It is nice that someone managed to restore this painting and bring it back to its original appearance. I can’t wait to see the whole picture of this.

    Thanks for sharing.

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