Unveiling a masterpiece of Gauguin after 11 months of restoration

Published on 29.11.2017

A year ago, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium launched a crowdfunding campaign to restore a painting of Paul Gauguin. In just three weeks, the goal of EUR 45,000 was achieved thanks to the generous contribution of individual donors and significant support of the Baillet Latour Fund.
After 11 months of careful restoration, the museum reveals "The portrait of Suzanne Bambridge" in the Musée Fin-de-Siècle Museum during an exclusive evening for the major donors on Wednesday 29 November.

The museum management and the restorer will discuss the various steps of the restoration and explain the recent discoveries they have made. One of the findings reveals that Gauguin himself carried out restorations on the painting, in Tahiti, and that he even left a fingerprint behind in the pictorial layer.

“The portrait of Suzanne Bambridge” is one of Paul Gauguin's masterpieces. He painted it during his first stay in Tahiti (1891). It is also one of his first (and rare) frontal portraits he made. This painting suffered a great number of tribulations and was damaged by many inadequate transports, storage and unprofessional restorations. In 1923, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium eventually acquired the work.

From Thursday 30 November 2017, the public will be able to rediscover the restored work in the permanent collection of the Musée Fin-de-Siècle Museum, alongside two other works by Gauguin: "Conversation dans les prés. Pont-Aven" (1888) and "Le calvaire breton" (1889).


Watch the VIDEO (11 months of restoration in 1 minute):


See the list of donors: List (PDF)

Crowdfundingsplatform with explanations (French/Dutch) on the different steps of the restauration.


The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium wish to extend warm thanks to the donors for their participation in the crowdfunding campaign that made the restoration of Paul Gauguin's "Portrait of Suzanne Bambridge" possible. Thanks to the precious gifts, the restored painting can be admired again in its full splendour at the Musée Fin-de-Siècle Museum.