Montreal·Cinq à six

Montreal fine arts museum displays forgotten Valentin painting

Montreal's Museum of Fine Arts is showcasing a 17th-century Valentin de Boulogne painting from its collection that has been in storage for decades.

Valentin de Boulogne painting from 1631 had been in Montreal museum's storage for decades

Abraham Sacrificing Isaac was painted in the 17th century by Valentin de Boulogne. The painting had been sitting in storage at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts since 1925. (Valentin de Boulogne)

Montreal's Museum of Fine Arts is showcasing a painting from its collection that has been in storage for decades.

Abraham Sacrificing Isaac (1630-31) by Valentin de Boulogne is considered a masterpiece by one of the most important artists of 17th-century Rome. 

It was donated to the museum in 1925 by Lord Strathcona, but because of its condition no one recognized its value until the 1960s. 

Now, after an ambitious restoration project, the painting is revealed in its original colours. 

Abraham Sacrificing Isaac is currently on view in the MMFA's Galleries of European Art. 

It will travel in 2016-2017 to the Louvre and the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the first major retrospective devoted to Valentin. 

Jeanette Kelly talks to Hilliard Goldfarb, the MMFA's chief curator and curator of Old Masters, about the painting on Cinq à six.

The painting Abraham Sacrificing Isaace by Valentin de Boulogne has been in storage for decades. But now after a year-long restoration the masterpiece is back at the European Masters Gallery at the MMFA.


Jeanette Kelly works as the arts reporter at CBC Montreal. She's also the host of Cinq à Six, Quebec's Saturday afternoon culture show on CBC Radio One.


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