Technique and condition

The support is a piece of plain-woven, linen canvas, which has a modern lining of linen canvas and paste with a beeswax barrier on the back. The pine stretcher is also modern. There is pronounced cusping in the canvas weave along the top edge of the original, but none on its other sides.

The canvas has a reddish brown ground, which is now visible through the harsh abrasion that has occurred in all the dark areas of the painting, that is the background and most of the costume and wig. The face is relatively intact, painted in warm, dense tones, with were worked into one another on the primed canvas with soft brushes.

A couple of old tears in the right background have been restored. The varnish is a modern synthetic resin with an addition of wax, probably microcrystalline. On arrival at the Tate, the painting was surface cleaned to remove loose grey dust. A thin layer of MS2A with a small addition of Tinuvin was brushed on over the matt varnish to liven the surface a little.

Rica Jones
December 2000