Musée du Louvre

Louvre’s Leonardo conservation plan leads to resignation

Fears it will affect the sfumato of the piece are growing

The row over whether the Louvre has over-cleaned Leonardo’s The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, around 1510, intensified when an expert on the restoration advisory board resigned in December. Ségolène Bergeon Langle, the former national director of conservation, stepped down following the resignation of Jean-Pierre Cuzin, the museum’s former keeper of paintings, last autumn. Both members disapproved of the treatment proposed by the board, according to our sister paper Le Journal des Arts. This involves thinning layers of 19th- and 20th-century varnish with solvents, raising fears that the sfumato, Leonardo’s “smoky finish” effect, could be compromised.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Louvre’s Leonardo plan leads to resignation'

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 232 February 2012