A team of conservationists from the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia has made a surprising discovery: they found two sketches drawn by the post-impressionist French painter Paul Cezanne almost a hundred years ago.
The Cezanne sketches – one in charcoal and the other in watercolor- were found on the back side of two watercolor paintings made by the French artist.
One of the paintings is called “The Chaine de l’Etoile Mountains” (1885-86), and the other is called “Trees” (1900). These two paintings are usually displayed in room number 20 of the gallery, but the experts were treating them in order to conserve the paper. That’s how they noticed that on the reverse side of the paintings, there were two never-before-seen Cezanne sketches.
According to Cezanne experts, the painter used to work on both sides of the paper when he was sketching his future larger paintings.
They believe that no one has seen these sketches since Dr. Albert Barnes bought the paintings back in 1921.
Martha Lucy, assistant professor at Drexel University, explained that Dr. Barnes bought the two paintings from Leo Stein. Stein was an American art collector who managed to assemble the most important collections of modern European art in the world.
Lucy said that Barnes probably had no idea that when he purchased the two paintings he actually bought four Cezanne works.
The Barnes Foundation is planning a special exhibition where the two Cezanne sketches will be displayed. The watercolors will have glass frames so that the viewers can see both sides, the painting side and the sketch side.
Barbara Buckley, the chief conservator of paintings and senior director of conservation at the Barnes Foundation, said that the two sketches offer “invaluable” insight into the artistic process of the French painter.
She adds that the team is very excited to share the discoveries with the art students and visitors. She explains that that the foundation has a number of new facilities at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway that allow them to do a more comprehensive conservation.
According to Buckley, there are many more things waiting to be discovered within the Barnes art Collection.
Image Source: upi