The restoration of Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio’s “Venus and Cupid” from the Galleria Colonna in Rome has stripped the goddess of her sumptuous tunic. (Above, the painting before and after cleaning.) The clothing had been added by an unknown artist catering to prudish sensibilities in the eighteenth century. The cleaning was paid for by Estée Lauder who are funding the restoration of several paintings in Italian museums. The cosmetics company has already paid for the restoration of Tintoretto’s “Venus, Vulcan and Cupid” and Titian’s “Venus grooming Cupid” and “La Bella”—all from Florence’s Pinacoteca Palatina. Next up is Raphael’s “Fornarina” from Rome’s Palazzo Barberini
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as ‘Less is more with Estée Lauder'