Title: Isle of Sylt
Artist: Eugène Gustav Dücker
Creation Date: 1879
Conservation Date: Fall 2014
Accession Number: 10
There are four paintings by Eugène Gustav Dücker in The Drexel Collection. All of them were donated by Anthony J. Drexel’s brother-in-law, John D. Lankenau, whose collection of 19th century European paintings was the catalyst for building the Anthony J. Drexel Picture Gallery on the third floor of the Main Building. Currently the Picture Gallery houses paintings by Francis Martin Drexel, portraits of the Drexel family, and a number of landscape and genre paintings from Lankenau’s collection.
As can be seen when comparing the before and after conservation images, the discoloration of the varnish and the dirt accumulated on the surface distorted the appearance of the painting. Before conservation, the scene is dark and foreboding, but after the varnish was removed and the surface cleaned a whole new painting was revealed. The scuttling clouds and daydreamer lying on the shore create a charming scene that invites the viewer in.
The conservation of the Dücker seascapes and other paintings donated by John D. Lankenau is an ongoing project by The Drexel Collection to return these paintings to the walls of the Anthony J. Drexel Picture Gallery.