Supported by the Bank of America Conservation Program, the painting underwent thorough conservation
MINNEAPOLIS (September 7, 2023)— The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) announced that a recently conserved painting, Domenico Passignano’s The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise, will go on view in its galleries this month. Restoration work was supported by the Bank of America Art Conservation Project. The Italian painting is one of nineteen art conservation projects selected by the bank for funding in 2022.
Support from Bank of America funded the conservation work needed to stabilize, clean, and renew the appearance and legibility of The Expulsion of Adam and Eve. The Midwest Art Conservation Center (MACC), a nonprofit regional center for the preservation and conservation of art and artifacts, conducted the restoration under the supervision of Mia where the center’s conservation facility is housed. Video documentation and a behind-the-scenes look at the conservation process are also in the works for Mia’s digital and social channels.
Passignano’s The Expulsion of Adam and Eve was acquired by Mia in August 2020, along with two other paintings, all of which were commissioned in Rome by the prominent and influential family of Pope Urban VIII (Maffeo Barberini), who reigned from 1623 to 1644. The paintings—The Archangel Michael (c. 1624-26) by Cavaliere d’Arpino, Jacob Wrestling with the Angel (early 1620s) by Cristoforo Roncalli, and The Expulsion of Adam and Eve—evoke the splendor of Baroque Rome in the seventeenth century and the triumphant message of the Catholic Church during the Counter-Reformation. The work by Cavaliere d’Arpino, acquired in pristine condition, is currently on view at Mia. RoncaIIi’s painting recently underwent conservation, leaving only Passignano’s in need of restoration to be displayed in full brilliance in Mia’s galleries. These three paintings are displayed near other important works in the museum’s collection also from the Barberini collection. They include The Death of Germanicus (1627) by Nicolas Poussin, Adam Discovering the Body of Abel (early 1640s) by Andrea Sacchi and his workshop, and Crucified Christ Triumphant over Death, Evil and Sin (1621) by Paolo Guidotti. Also on view is the recently acquired gilded bronze portrait, Princess Anna Colonna Barberini (c. 1658-61), by Jacomo Antonio Fancelli (portrait modello), Francuccio Francucci (caster), and Carlo Mattei (gilder). The vivid likeness—the only known portrait of Anna Colonna Barberini (1601-1658)—was commissioned for the princess’s funerary monument and later adorned the library of the Palazzo Barberini.
“The important works by Arpino, Roncalli, and Passignano—all monumental in scale—are unusual for having remained together into the twenty-first century with direct descendants of the original patrons. Conservation of Passignano’s The Expulsion of Adam and Eve wilI allow the painting to resume its place alongside the works by Arpino and RoncaIi, where it has been for more than 400 years,” said Rachel McGarry, Mia’s Elizabeth MacMillan Chair of European Art and Curator of European Paintings and Works on Paper. “Together, these three paintings will transform Mia’s Baroque gallery, giving visitors a new appreciation for Italian seventeenth-century art and emphasizing the central role art played in society, politics, and life during that period.”
This is the third time a piece in Mia’s collection has been selected for the Bank of America Art Conservation Project. Mia was chosen for the Art Conservation Project for the conservation of Max Beckman’s Blind Man’s Buff (1945) in 2013 and the conservation of Frank Stella’s Tahkt-1-Sulayman Variation II (1969) in 2017. Bank of America is one of Mia’s long-standing partners and has been involved with many projects, including as the major sponsor of Mia’s Family Day programming, major sponsor of the 2020-2021 exhibition “In the Presence of Our Ancestors: Southern Perspectives in African American Art” and as major corporate sponsor for the exhibit “Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists” in 2019.
“At Bank of America, we believe in the power of the arts to help our economy to thrive, to educate and enrich our community, and to create greater cultural understanding,” said Lucas Giambelluca, President of Bank of America–Twin Cities. “Mia is a world-class museum located right here in the Twin Cities and we support the essential work they are doing to make art accessible to everyone and preserve a rich array of our shared human experience through art.”
About the Bank of America Art Conservation Project
The Bank of America Art Conservation Project provides grants to non-profit museums to conserve historically or culturally significant works of art that are in danger of deterioration, including works that have been designated as national treasures. Since 2010, Bank of America has funded the conservation of more than 6,000 individual pieces of art through more than 237 projects in 40 countries across six continents. To learn more, visit the Bank of America Art Conservation Project website.