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28/10/2013

FUNDACIÓN IBERDROLA SPONSORS RESTORATION OF 'THE DISROBING OF CHRIST' PAINTING BY EL GRECO


Fundación IBERDROLA is a 'Supporting Member' of the Prado Museum's Restoration Programme
  • This painting was restored in the studio at the Prado Museum as part of an agreement entered into with the Cathedral Chapter of Toledo and the Fundación El Greco 2014
  • It will remain on display at the art gallery until its return to Toledo Cathedral as part of the ceremonies to commemorate the 4th centenary of the painter's death 

The Fundación IBERDROLA has sponsored the restoration of the work The Disrobing of Christ by El Greco, which was carried out in the studio at the Prado Museum as part of an agreement entered into with the Cathedral Chapter of Toledo (location where the painting was on display) and the Fundación El Greco 2014, which is in charge of organising the events to commemorate the 4th centenary of the painter's death.

The restored painting was presented today at the national gallery, in the presence of the Chairman of the Royal Board of Trustees of the Prado Museum, José Pedro Pérez-Llorca; the Dean of Toledo Prime Cathedral, Juan Sánchez; the Chairman of the Fundación El Greco 2014, Gregorio Marañón; the Director of the Prado Museum, Miguel Zugaza, and the Chairman of the Fundación IBERDROLA, Manuel Marín.

Given the good state of repair of the painting, the work consisted of restoring and consolidating raised areas and small losses on the lower edge and a cleaning operation to restore the balance of the lights and shadows, thereby enhancing the spatial and chromatic aspects and the overall appearance of the composition.

The painting will be on display at the Prado Museum until it is returned to Toledo Cathedral, alongside the X-ray and infrared reflectography images of the painting. These techniques for analysis were applied to this work for the first time, revealing that the painter did not make substantial changes to his initial composition.

Infrared reflectography reveals how the painting was constructed around a stain or general sketch made using the brush and very diluted pigments, which were then built on with precise, decisive brushstrokes. The X-ray indicates that the painter worked on a "mantelillo" canvas, which was very popular in Venetian painting. It also revealed that he only made small adjustments to the figure of Christ and the awl held by the carpenter.

This painting, one of El Greco's masterpieces, was one of the first commissions he received in Toledo, shortly after his arrival from Italy. It was intended for the sanctuary of Toledo Cathedral, where it has remained on display ever since.


Supporting Member of the Restoration Studio

Since its appointment as Supporting Member of the Restoration Studio in November 2010, the Fundación IBERDROLA has been collaborating closely with the museum, backing its conservation and restoration programme, which is ranked among the most prestigious in the world. This agreement is part of the company's firm commitment to art and culture, as one of the most important aspects of the heritage of mankind.

Thanks to the support provided by the Fundación IBERDROLA, the Prado Museum has restored very important works of art, such as the Nero and Seneca sculptural group by Eduardo Barrón; the portraits Philip III on Horseback and Margaret of Austria on Horseback, by Diego Velázquez; the Roman sculpture Ariadne Sleeping; The Wine of St. Martin's Day, by Pieter Bruegel the Elder; a selection of 17 unpublished and unexhibited drawings by Goya; the copy of the Gioconda; St. John the Baptist by Titian; St. Jerome Writing by Ribera; Maria Luisa of Parma wearing a panniered dress by Goya; the previously unseen work The Agony in the Garden with the Donor, Louis I d'Orleans, and The Triumph of St. Hermenegild by Herrera the Younger.

The collaboration agreement between the Prado Museum and the Fundación IBERDROLA also provides for the awarding of restoration grants as part of the institution's Scholarships and Research Grants scheme. The aim of this initiative is to complete the training of future experts and foster research in the field of restoration.

The Prado Museum will also be carrying out a total overhaul of its lighting system with the backing of the Fundación IBERDROLA. This ambitious project, referred to as Lighting the Prado, involves the replacement of the existing halogen lights with others equipped with LED technology in every room at the art gallery.

About the Fundación IBERDROLA

The Fundación IBERDROLA, with Ignacio Galán as its Founding Trustee and Manuel Marín in the role of Chairman, focuses its activity in four main spheres of action: training and research, energy sustainability and biodiversity, cooperation and solidarity, and cultural development in the countries where the IBERDROLA Group operates.

As well as its collaboration with the Prado Museum, other important projects run by the Fundación IBERDROLA in the area of the conservation of our historical-artistic heritage include the Atlantic Romanesque Plan ( www.romanicoatlantico.org) and the Lighting Programme for unique buildings, with over 80 interventions in recent years.

As regards support for research, the highlight is the foundation's Scholarships and Research Grants Scheme. In the field of biodiversity, the flagship project is the Bird Migration Programme ( www.migraciondeaves.org). Finally, in the field of support for solidarity, it runs the Social Grants Programme.