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'The Holy Family' unveiled after more than a year of restoration

The Holy Family, an authentic and rare work of Jacques Jordaens youth period, discovered in the town hall of Saint-Gilles (Brussels), unveiled in the museum after more than a year of restoration. The painting, which is more than 400 years old, has benefited from an extensive restoration campaign at IRPA, financed by urban.brussels, as part of its new competences in the field of movable heritage.

This important work by the Antwerp Baroque master Jacques Jordaens (1593-1678) was brought to light during the inventory of the Saint-Gilles collection carried out by urban.brussels and IRPA in 2019. It was formally identified in 2020. Today, the work has finally been restored to its original brilliance, colour and style and is now on display in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium.

Hilde De Clercq

Collaboration and interdisciplinarity are the basis of successful heritage management. Led by the Brussels-Capital Region, this project shows the importance of bringing together the different skills present in the institutions involved. And this is for the benefit of the Brussels and Belgian public, which has gained a new masterpiece.

Hilde De Clercq, General Director of the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA)

Collaboration and interdisciplinarity

A dendrochronological examination (which accurately analyses the date of felling of the tree from which the panel was taken) was carried out by the Jordaens Van Dyck Panel Paintings Project from 2019 onwards. The KIK-IRPA also carried out valuable scientific imaging analyses: X-ray, infrared reflectography, macro XRF analysis and ultraviolet photography. The analyses carried out by IRPA's multidisciplinary research team revealed that the work had already been restored many times in the past, in a crude and clumsy manner. Having arrived at IRPA in a poor state, the restored Holy Family now provides a unique and detailed record of the painter's palette. This restoration guarantees the lasting preservation of this masterpiece for future generations.

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    'The Holy Family' unveiled after more than a year of restoration

    The Holy Family, an authentic and rare work of Jacques Jordaens youth period, discovered in the town hall of Saint-Gilles (Brussels), unveiled in the museum after more than a year of restoration. The painting, which is more than 400 years old, has benefited from an extensive restoration campaign at IRPA, financed by urban.brussels, as part of its new competences in the field of movable heritage.

    Discover this project

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