Restoration - Restoration interventions

Intervention on pictorial works

Table in front of the Sea: Homage to Eric Satie is an early-period work painted in 1926. The painting measures 150 x 90 cm and, as on other occasions over this period, Dalí applied the oil paint directly onto the canvas, leaving the industrial preparation on the back side. This procedure highlights the texture of the canvas and allowed him to make interplays with the colour of the textile support in the ochre zones.

The work had been stored in the Foundation's reserves, and it presented a large tear dating from years back in the upper central part of the canvas, beside the head of the character depicted. In a very much earlier restoration the cut had been consolidated by applying a piece of canvas from the rear side. But the results were not satisfactory: the piece became unstuck and caused deformations in the canvas. Furthermore, strips had been placed around the perimeter of the work to reinforce the sides of the painting and tension them onto the frame. The edges presented remains of adhesive and paper adhering to the painting, probably from a roll of self-adhesive paper used in the framing process, while at the four corners the canvas had come away completely and threads were separating from it. The odd small patches also showed losses of pictorial layer on the character's face and red leg.

Following an examination of the work under various kinds of light, the process of conservation and restoration started with an overall surface cleaning and removal of the semi-unglued piece of canvas. The deformations in the zone were then flattened out with controlled weight and moisture, and then replaced, attaching the loose textile strands of the cut to each other one by one using suitable glue in order to consolidate them.

The edges of the painting were consolidated and cleaned, thereby removing the remains of paper and glue. Finally, the small losses of pictorial surface were filled and chromatically reintegrated both in the zone of the tear and at the edges to re-achieve the aesthetic unity of the work.