In 1626 Netherlandish painter Peter Paul Rubens completed one of the most important commissions of his lifetime, a suite of finished oil sketches referred to as the Triumph of the Eucharist series. Six of these works have now been restored as part of a training program developed by the Getty Foundation in collaboration with the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain and supported through the Panel Paintings Initiative.
A Getty grant was awarded in 2011 to the Prado Museum to undertake treatment of the panels, using the conservation as a major opportunity to train mid-career and post-graduate conservators. The program offered a range of experiences, from basic treatment of splits and cracks to complex decision-making processes involving conservators, curators, and conservation scientists. By the end of the conservation project, seven different professionals benefited from training.
Following the completion of the conservation treatment, the newly restored paintings were featured in an exhibition at the Prado Museum, which then traveled to the Getty Center. Spectacular Rubens
was on view at the Getty Museum and included the panels displayed alongside the tapestries, as well as a special section of the exhibition devoted to the Foundation's support of conservation and training related to old master paintings on wooden panels. Prior to the conservation project, it would not have been safe for the Rubens panels to travel.