The bank for a changing world

Natalia Goncharova's triptych “The Bathers” reposited for a long time in the Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow has been restored with the support of BNP Paribas Foundation and BNP Paribas CIB in Russia

  • 14.12.2009
BNP Paribas Foundation and BNP Paribas CIB combined their efforts for the second consecutive time sponsoring Tretyakov Gallery for the restoration of works of art. In 2007 due to their financial support the restoration of a holy icon has been carried out, and in 2009 it was decided to give a second birth to the monumental triptych“The Bathers”(canvas, oil, 260x199 cm) by Franco-Russian artist Natalia Goncharova (1881, Ladyzhino — 1962, Paris).
Russian artist Natalia Goncharova dedicated her life to studying and rethinking the original Russian national traditions (icon and popular print), and in 1908, together with her companion Mikhail Larionov, she founded a new method of painting — “Rayonism. Goncharova was a remarkable figure among avant-garde artists, worked with young painters and writers, participated in many exhibitions in Europe and developed her personal style, a combination of cubism, futurism and Orphism. In 1914 Goncharova and Larionov left Russia for Paris, where they spend the rest of their lives. Goncharova works with Sergey Diaghilev, creating setting and costumes for his ballets:“The Golden Cockerel”(1914) on a music by Rimsky-Korsakov, “Aurora's Wedding”(1923) on a music by Tchaikovsky and “Firebird”(1926) on a music by Stravinsky. At the same time she practices decorative arts: works with wallpaper, textiles, illustrates books (“Tsar Saltan”by Pushkin, 1922).
In 1922 Natalya Goncharova created “The Bathers” triptych in her studio. The same year the painting was presented on the“Society of Independent Artists”exhibition and earned the praise of French press. Since 1923 the central part of the panel has been used as a playbill for one of the first charity balls of Russian emigrants, known as“Ball of Artists”,that has become one of key events of cultural life in Paris.
For many years the triptych was kept folded in Goncharova's Paris studio. In 1988 the painting entered the collection of the Tretyakov Gallery, but it has never been exhibited in the museum, as for it was badly damaged because of improper storage.
Triptych “The Bathers” had many damages, caused by natural ageing of the painting: poor condition and partial loss of the paint layer; painted spots, hiding segments of the artist's original work; multiple deformations of the canvas with well-defined cracks, non-uniform yellowing of the lacquer coating and soiling of the whole surface of the canvas.

Restoration works, performed in workshops of the Tretyakov Gallery from August to October 2009, were based on preliminary historical study, report on state of the work of art and qualified opinion. During the restoration process, the following procedures were performed: removal of dust from the paint layer, cleaning of the painted surface from mildew and dirt, restoration of the canvas in rupture points, filling of the hollows, retouching of some areas and two-sided application of protecting varnish. The canvases were pieced together and put in a specifically made frame. At the present moment the triptych is completely restored and in its full splendor it has become an integral part of the modern art collection of the Tretyakov Gallery.

“BNP Paribas for Art” program
A long-standing partner to museums, the BNP Paribas Foundation works to preserve museum treasures and to make them public. Accordingly the Foundation supports the publication of albums devoted to permanent museum collections and helps restore their masterpieces as part of the "BNP Paribas for Art" programme.
Launched in 1995, this programme has supported restoration of over 200 museum works of art in France and abroad, including painted ceiling by François Lemoyne in the Hercules Salon of the Versailles Palace, "My Flower Bed" by Yayoï Kusama held at the National Museum of Modern Art in Paris, the triptych of the Virgin by Macrino d'Alba conserved at the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, six mural paintings by Jurriaan Andriessen exhibited at the Van Loon Museum in Amsterdam and an embroidered tapestry preserved at the Peranakan Museum in Singapore.


About the BNP Paribas Foundation
The BNP Paribas Foundation, which operates under the aegis of the Fondation de France, strives to preserve and promote the wealth of collections in museums in France and other countries. In addition to funding the publication of catalogues on museum collections the Foundation also provides grants to enable restoration of their masterpieces. The BNP Paribas Foundation also encourages creative talents in disciplines that are rarely the focus of corporate patronage programs, including contemporary dance, circus arts and jazz. In addition, the Foundation provides funding for advanced medical research and supports initiatives that benefit education, social inclusion and aid for people with disabilities.
The BNP Paribas Foundation initiates cultural programs worldwide, sets up many international private sectors initiatives and his highly involved in cultural and scientific patronage policies abroad. The BNP Paribas Foundation currently plays a key role on the international scene.

About BNP Paribas CIB in Russia
Russia is a strategic market for CIB and BNP Paribas enjoys here a leading position having been recognized in 2008 by Dealogic as #1 Bookrunner and #1 MLA for Media Telecom Financing by volume, #3 Bookrunner and #3 MLA for Energy and Commodities Structured Debt, #6 Advisor for competed M&A deals by deal value, #6 for Net Global Investment Bank revenue, and #1 for the number of Eurobond issuances for Russian Corporate in the first half of 2009.
CIB has a local set up in Russia since 1974 through a Representative Office and since July 2002 with "BNP PARIBAS" ZAO enjoying a banking licence. The local bank activity encompasses financing to Russian corporates, foreign exchange and, hedging of currency or interest rate risk, advisory for Merger and Acquisition, issuing of Letters of Credit or guarantees, payment and cash management.

About the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow
History of the Tretyakov Gallery started with private collection of merchant Pavel Tretyakov, an autodidact possessing the biggest collection of Russian paintings (1,287 canvases), that he donated to the city of Moscow in 1892. Now the Tretyakov Gallery owns more than 150,000 exhibits, including one of the most beautiful collections of Russian icons in the world, as well as works of art reflecting history of Russia from the XIth to the XXth centuries. Annually more than one and a half million people visit the Gallery. The Tretyakov Gallery often takes part in international exhibitions.
Press contact(s)
Contacts
BNP Paribas Foundation
Jean-Jacques Goron, Deputy secretary general
+33 1 42 98 16 04 - jean-jacques.goron [at] bnpparibas (dot) com

Ann d'Aboville, Corporate Philanthropy Manager
+33 1 42 98 13 54 - ann.daboville [at] bnpparibas (dot) com

BNP Paribas CIB Russia
Julia Panevina Sponsorship & Corporate philanthropy
BNP Paribas Corporate & Investment Banking
+7 (495) 660 87 49 - Mob.: +7 916 532 54 40
julia.panevina [at] bnpparibas (dot) com