Conservation of ‘Les Patineurs’ 1873

17th January 2023

The painting by Johan Barthold Jongkind (1819-1891) is being exhibited at the Cooper Gallery, Barnsley.

Thanks to the support of the Idlewild Trust, we have been able to fully conserve one of the most important European paintings in the fine art collection at the Cooper Gallery.  ‘Les Patineurs’ by Johan Barthold Jongkind, formerly titled ‘Coast Scene with Windmills’, was one of the paintings researched as part of a 12-month project funded by the Headley Fellowship with Art Fund, looking at artists working in and around the Forest of Fontainebleau and the Normandy coast in the mid to late 19th century.  Through this research, Jongkind has emerged as a key figure in the development of French landscape painting, and highly influential on the young Impressionists, cited by Monet as an important mentor in the development of his practice.  

The removal of a large amount of surface dirt and yellowed varnish has made a huge impact.  Prior to treatment, the painting seemed to be a hazy, muted landscape view, but  after treatment was revealed to be a beautiful, crisp winter’s day.  

As a result of the grant, the painting will feature in a major exhibition in 2023 at the Cooper Gallery titled ‘Light and Soul, Early Impressions of the French Landscape’.  The exhibition runs from 24 June to 7 October 2023 and includes 21 paintings and drawings from the Cooper Gallery collection, alongside loans from other museums.  Following the exhibition, the painting will be placed on display in the permanent galleries at the Cooper Gallery.  This is a great outcome for the Jongkind painting as due to its poor condition, it has not been on display for many decades and will be available to see for many people for the first time. 

Conservation of ‘Les Patineurs’ 1873