Current AFC projects (2014/2015)
Paintings in the Gallery of Paintings
Over the next year, the Condé Museum’s Gallery of Paintings is undergoing a major renovation. Most of the financial resources were
earmarked for structural upgrades. Additional expenses are needed to
assist with preservation of the artwork.
The Gallery of Paintings will reopen in spring 2015 (after 3 months of
closing) and the paintings must be restored now! So there is a sense of
urgency in the search for funds and the restoration of the paintings!
Once again AFC rose to meet the challenge. The organization is
working along side their French counterpart, Les Amis du Musée
Condé (The French Friends of Condé Museum), to provide funding for
the restoration of several paintings.
AFC has already raised the funds to restore the portrait of Henri II
attributed to Francesco Primaticcio, an Italian Mannerist painter,
architect and sculptor who spent most of his career in France.
Completed AFC projects
Restoration of the Fra Angelico Thebaîde from the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the Condé Museum Exhibition (2014)
The Domaine de Chantilly in France is honoring the prized collections of the Condé Museum with a special exhibition of 14th and 15th
century Italian paintings. The exhibit, “Fra Angelico,Botticelli... Rediscovered Masterpieces” will be on view from September 8, 2014 to January
4, 2015. One of the highlights of the exhibition is the reunion of five of the six paintings that
comprise the Fra Angelico Thebaïde.
Only one of the paintings that comprise the Fra Angelico Thebaïde belongs to the Condé
Museum. Saint Benedict in Ecstasy in the Desert was acquired by the Duke d’Aumale for his
collection. The other four paintings will be on loan from three different museums (Anvers,
Cherbourg and Philadelphia) and one from a private collector. Gregory the Great Refusing
the Pontifical Tiara belongs to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and needed to be conserved
before it could be shipped to France. AFC helped facilitate the loan and raised funds for the
painting to be sent to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City for conservation.
AFC is also underwriting the expenses of insurance and transportation to bring the piece to
Chantilly for the exhibition.
Restoration of the painting Simonetta Vespucci from Piero di Cosimo (2014)
“Florentine and Sienese painters of the Quattrocentro, formally known as the Italian Primitives, make up a significant part of the legacy of the Duke d’Aumale, conserved
exclusively at the Domaine de Chantilly since his death,” Garnier goes on to say. “For this
exhibition, the first retrospective that the Condé Museum has dedicated to this movement,
thirty major works from its collections – including paintings and drawings by Fra Angelico,
Lippi, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci – will be presented in the reception hall of the Jeu de
Paume, next to nine paintings on loan from leading international institutions.”
The Italian masterpiece, Simonetta de Vespuci by Renaissance painter Piero di Cosimo, is
considered the crowned jewel of Condé Museum’s collection. Painted in the late 15th century
the tempura painting was in need of restoration. AFC underwrote the funds needed to send
the piece to the Louvre for conservation. The newly restored painting will once again be on
view in September 2014 as part of the Fra Angelico, Botticelli ... Rediscovered Masterpieces exhibition.
The Island of Love
Created in the 19th century for the Duke d'Aumale the Island of Love stands in the English Garden of the Château de Chantilly. The beautifully crafted wood trellis gazebo harboring a statue of Eros on a fleur de Lys tile floor crowns the peninsula shaped
island with it's lawns and fountains. The ensemble evokes the 18th
century Island of Love where the princes of Condé hosted open air
banquets and festivities for special guests.
Today the gazebo
structure is missing several elements, most of the fleur de Lys tiles
have been stolen and the island is a shadow of its former self.
Restoration sponsored by the American Friends of Chantilly will replace
the missing pieces of the gazebo and the tile flooring as well as clean
and consolidate the statue of Eros.
View picture gallery
Sculpted Fountain in the Grand Stables
The colossal sculpted fountain in the Grand Stables
of Chantilly is the principal decorative element in the central dome
where horse shows and equestrian demonstrations take place daily.
Constructed in the 18th century by Jean Aubert during the reign of
Louis XV it was created as a monumental drinking fountain for the 250
horses of Louis-Henri de Boubon, Prince de Condé. During the
revolution many of the original sculpted elements were destroyed or
damaged. The fountain was restored in 1880 but no longer functions
Restoration sponsored by the American Friends of
Chantilly will strive to restore the sculpted decorations, repair the
defective piping and bring the fountain back to its princely splendour.
- Photos and program from the June 12 event 2011
The Le Nôtre statue
Surveying the château de Chantilly gardens, the 19th
century statue of André Le Nôtre by Tony Noel honors this famous
landscape architect of Louis XIV who designed the Royal gardens of the
Château de Versailles, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Fontainebleau, the Louvre
Tuileries Gardens and of course Chantilly. Restoration of the Statue
sponsored by the American Friends of Chantilly consisted of a thorough
cleaning of the epidermis then consolidation and restoration of damaged
pieces. High level participants received a replica of the 17th century
shoe of Le Nôtre.
French Edition of FH Hazlehurst's "Garden of
Almost 30 years ago, AFC Honorary Board member Dr. F.
Hamilton Hazlehurst, wrote the much acclaimed, scholarly work:
'Gardens of Illusion: The Genius of Andre Le Nôtre'. In 1980,
Vanderbilt University, published the book in English. It was reprinted
four times and used as a text and landscape architecture guide
throughout the world but had never been issued in French.
2006, when a French language edition was made possible by a grant from
American Friends of Chantilly. French project participants included
three prominent French châteaux: Chantilly, Versailles, and
Vaux-Le-Vicomte, Le Nôtre designed their gardens and many others. The
French publishing company SOMOGY published the book and it is now
available in book shops in France.
The Clouet Royal portrait drawings
The Musée Condé at Château de Chantilly has one of
the world's largest collections of Royal portraits and sketches by
Jean Clouet and his son François. There are over 360 drawings in all.
They were originally mounted on acidic paper, which is destroying the
lines and colors of these historic works of art. American Friends of
Chantilly has assisted their counterpart Les Amis de Musée Condé in
restoring the collection. Contributors received a digitized replica of
the portrait with the seals of Château de Chantilly and the duc
Digitalizing precious manuscripts from the Musée
Digitalization of the first complete catalogue of the
collection of priceless historic manuscripts housed in the Château de
Chantilly library (2007-2008).