Virgin of the Angels (1881). Adolphe-William Bouguereau (French, 1825–1905). Oil on canvas. Getty Center.
This life-size painting, a serene vision of angels serenading the sleeping Jesus in the arms of a graceful young Mary, is one of the most important works by Bouguereau in the US.
Chief paintings conservator Mark Leonard spent months studying, cleaning, and restoring. He removed the old varnish that was dirtying the angels’ wings and yellowing Mary’s blue cloak, revealing the clarity of the original colors