Helmut Ruhemann

Back to Helmut Ruhemann. He was the German expert in the science of conservation, who moved from the Kaiser-Friedrich Museum in Berlin to set up in private practice in London in 1933 and was employed during the second world war to work on the pictures of the National Gallery whilst they were in store. There was a report over the weekend that after the war he was responsible for the invitation to Professor Kurt Wehlte to come and teach at the Courtauld Institute in spite of the fact that Wehlte had worked during the war for the Ahnenerbe under the SS. At least as interesting is the fact that Ruhemann had originally trained as a painter at the Académie Julian under Maurice Denis. Denis believed that ‘a picture, before being a battle horse, a nude, an anecdote or whatnot, is essentially a flat surface covered with colours assembled in a certain order’. Roger Fry was a pupil at the Académie Julian as well.

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