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A Masterpiece Revealed

A masterpiece revealed:

A collaborative project

Chapter 1 video

Chapter 1

A Rediscovery

Chapter 2 video

Chapter 2

The Project

Chapter 3 video

Chapter 3

Science in Art

Chapter 4 video

Chapter 4

The Artist's Language

Chapter 5 video

Chapter 5

On Exhibit

Chapter 1: A Rediscovery

The film begins with Detroit Institute of Arts and Meadow Brook Hall curators telling the history of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo’s, “The Infant Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness.” They also talk about the partnership between the three institutions and their plan to add to this masterpiece’s storied past.


Chapter 2: The Project

Conservation involves extensive scholarly research and technical analysis by the curators, conservationists and scientists at the DIA. Watch their discoveries unfold and join a group of Oakland University students witnessing it up close and personal during the conservation process.


Chapter 3: Science in Art

After analyzing Murillo’s “The Infant Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness,” several discoveries were revealed, requiring important decisions to be made during the in-painting process. Viewers will learn about science’s role in art and how X-rays deliver information about materials, minerals and the artistic process.

Chapter 4: The Artist's Language

Painting is a language, which to fully appreciate must be experienced in person. “The Infant Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness” joins other Murillo masterpieces in the DIA’s European Medieval to Renaissance Art collection. Discover what caught DIA curator Salvador Salort-Pons’ eye in this Murillo masterpiece and learn from conservator Tom Dickinson about the important process of frame conservation.

Chapter 5: On Exhibit

After the conservation is complete, DIA Director of Conservation Alfred Ackerman and Meadow Brook Hall curator Madelyn Rzadkowolski explain the decisions made about the discoveries. The DIA team, Meadow Brook Hall staff and Oakland University professors and students reflect on the project and look forward to future collaborations. The masterpiece is then unveiled and will be on display in the DIA’s European gallery for five years before returning to Meadow Brook Hall.

A masterpiece Revealed

A Masterpiece Revealed tells the fascinating story of how an important 17th-century painting was re-discovered at Meadow Brook Hall by a Detroit Institute of Arts curator, and the partnership with Oakland University and the DIA that sprung from the discovery. Bartolomé Esteban Murillo’s “The Infant Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness,” will be on display in the DIA’s European Medieval to Renaissance Art gallery for five years before returning to Meadow Brook Hall.

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