A Painting of the Passion Reborn

16 September 2007 – 22 September 2007

16 September 2007 - 16 October 2007

A new dossier exhibition entitled A Painting of the Passion Reborn – The Restoration of Maarten van Heemskerck's Lamentation of Christ has opened as part of the Week of Sacred Art.


Maarten van Heemskerck's Lamentation of Christ had been known by visitors and the scientific world as a permanent piece in the exhibition of 16th-century Dutch art in the Museum of Fine Arts' Old Masters' Gallery until an unexpected discovery was made after infrared rectography was applied to the panel two years ago. The technique demonstrated that the homogenic background of the painting had been painted over, covering up five figures. Restoration of the painting started this year and revealed these figures in a miraculously intact condition.

The aim of the current exhibition is to document the restoration of this prominent painting. In addition to Heemskerck's altar panel, other paintings of the collection which the public do not have the opportunity to view so frequently will also be on display, helping to show the iconography of the theme as well as to illustrate those influences that shaped Heemskerck's art.