Picture Velázquez’s ‘The Spinners’ has been presented this Monday, July 12 to the public of the Prado Museum with a new frame that hides the additions that were made in the 18th century on the original canvas and it allows to contemplate the composition as it was conceived by the Sevillian painter.

In this way, the work is integrated into an installation specially designed to incorporate a series of technical innovations that guarantee its best conservation. In the 18th century the canvas was enlarged on its perimeter by adding a wide upper band (with the arch and the oculus) and smaller bands at the right, left, and bottom ends.

This operation, quite frequent in royal collections, distorted, in the case of ‘Las hilanderas’, the original perception of Velázquez’s composition, resulting in that the scene that takes place before the tapestry is perceived more distant and turning a mythological content into manners.

Aware of this, and given that the enlargement is a historical intervention that should not be missed, the Prado Museum in recent years devised a framing system in which only the part of the painting painted by Velázquez was left visible.

This system made physical access to the back of the work too complex., so since 2017 work has been done on the search for a montage that allows easy access to the painting at all times and that at the same time it will show only the original part of it“, the museum has pointed out.

The system now proposed consists of the design of a masking panel conceived as a global museum project that allows a total aesthetic integration of the work in the architecture of the showroom without altering its original perception.

It is a pioneering development in Spain, with an approach that combines aesthetic criteria, preventive conservation and sustainability, which, according to the Prado, “will serve as a reference for future interventions in the Spanish and international museum movable heritage”.

This restoration It is the first action registered in the project ‘Framing the Prado’ which has the support of the philanthropic entity American Friends of the Prado Museum, thanks to the sponsorship of the American Express Foundation, and whose objectives are to collaborate in the provision of new frameworks for the works of the art gallery, as well as to adapt the existing ones and develop innovative solutions to improve the presentation of collections.

In order to Javier Solana, president of the Royal Board of the Prado National Museum, the support and collaboration of these entities “make the Prado is enriched with the materialization of projects as innovative as this one for the benefit of the presentation of its extraordinary collections“.

By Editor

Leave a Reply