The Burning Bush by Nicolas Froment now restored

Nicolas Froment (cknown in 1461-1483/84)
Triptych of the Burning Bush, after restoration
Tempera on canvas maroufle on panel - 410 x 305 cm
Aix-en-Provence, Chruch Saint-Sauveur
Photo : JB

10/8/10 – Restoration – Aix-en-Provence, Cathedrale Saint-Sauveur – The famous triptych of the Burning Bush (ill.) by Nicolas Froment, painted in 1475-1476 for the funerary chapel of Roi Rene’ in the church of the Grands-Carmes at Aix-en-Provence, has resided in the Cathedrale Saint-Sauveur since the 19th century. It had not been displayed for the last few years [1] as it was undergoing a thorough restoration. This was carried out on location inside a chapel of the building which was closed off to the public and amounted to a total cost of 150,000 euros [2].

The work is painted on a canvas attached (maroufle) to poplar panels. Supervised by a scientific committee created for the project, the restoration concerned the support as well as the pictorial layer. After treating the wood, the work was cleaned and the varnishes were lightened. According to the press release issued by the Direction Regionale des Affaires Culturelles de Provence-Alpes-Cote-d’Azur, there were minimal touch ups, and only a few missing areas were reintegrated “a trateggio” with any visible worn spots flattened with a light glaze. When everything was finished, the statement continues strangely, “the painting maintained its old aspect”, which is after all the least that could be expected.

The triptych is now available for viewing by the public and will soon be installed over the altar in the chapel of Saint Lazarus.

Didier Rykner, mardi 10 août 2010


[1] The restoration began in 2003.

[2] 30.000 euros were provided by the Rotary clubs in the region of Pays d’Aix-en-Provence.

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