Picasso - "The Studio"


The conservation department of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, has recently started a project on a major painting in the museum, The Studio (L’Atelier) by Pablo Picasso, from 1928.

In the late 1960s, during a conservation intervention, the painting was relined using wax and resin, to lay down areas of lifting paint. As a result, nowadays the efflorescence of wax on the surface made the white less brilliant. Moreover, deposits of atmospheric particles have dimmed the colors impeding a correct reading of the painting’s chromatic intensity and composition.


In order to understand Picasso’s technique, which is fundamental to establish the correct procedures and the appropriate materials for selectively and gradually removing the unwanted surface accretions, examination of the work by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection conservation department was initiated in August 2016.

After the examination of Picasso's masterpiece, the removal of the wax from the paint layer will be conducted in collaboration with the Consorzio universitario CSGI-University of Florence, in the context of the European project NANORESTART (NANOmaterials for the REStoration of works of ART) financed by the European Commission.

One of the objectives of this project, in which the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is involved, is the developing of nano-materials for the selective cleaning of works of modern and contemporary art. These materials are designed not to leave any residue on the work of art, and are non-toxic and ecologically compatible, making this one of the most advanced and sophisticated techniques available to the conservation field.


Examination and research will be coordinated by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection Conservation Department in association with the Conservation Department of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Conservation will be conducted by the conservator of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, under the supervision of the Soprintendenza belle arti e paesaggio of Venice.

For what concerns the removal of wax from the surface of Picasso masterpiece, mock-up samples that replicate this specific case studies, are currently being prepared in order to be tested within the framework of NANORESTART’s Work Package 2.


Updates about the removal of wax from Picasso's The Studio, will be soon available here on the NANORESTART project website, as well as on the Peggy Guggenheim Collection webisite.

The press release about the beginning of the examination and restoration of The Studio (L’Atelier) by Peggy Guggheneim Collection can be found here (english version) or here (italian version).

(Text adapted from the original web page of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection webesite.)