Pagan Gods, detail of Moloch

Restoration challenges

Sargent combined traditional and new materials and techniques in creating his Triumph of Religion murals. He attached elaborate relief elements to painted canvas, a highly innovative process at the time. The materials he used have since deteriorated and now require different types of conservation and restoration treatment. Conservators face considerable challenges when dealing with the composite nature of his work. The unfortunate effects of previous restorations and years of neglect further complicate conservation efforts.
Pagan Gods, detail of Moloch; the sun and the lions are gilded plaster reliefs that Sargent attached to the painted canvas background (1999 photo)
The Triumph of Religion