Technique and condition

The 'Kenton' canvas, manufactured by Winsor and Newton, described in their catalogues as 'a good pure flax canvas of moderate grain', is primed with a white lead/oil ground. The artists stretched the primed canvas onto a stretcher, originally 36 x 20 but keyed out prior to painting.

The work was painted in artists' oil colours, the artist has thinned the paint where required with mixtures of linseed oil and turpentine, probably with 'a trace of dammar resin' (letter to Tate Gallery, September 1993). A thin layer of green mixtures, visible around the edges, underlies the main impasted layers of moderately stiff oil paint applied by knife and brush. Each clearly defined shape has one dominant mixed colour modulated by intermixings and scumbling over with small quantities of other colours and variations in texture. Linear forms are drawn and ruled into the wet paint often with a blunt point. Changes in the composition made during painting remain visible in the structure of the paint where fresh paint was applied over that already touch dry.

The painting was sold in 1951 and was subsequently restretched and varnished while in a frame. The general condition of the painting is good although the canvas had distorted on its twisted stretcher, the paint developed some minor cracks and accumulated some surface grime in its textured surface. On acquisition the surface dirt was removed and the canvas restretched onto a new stretcher with a loose lining.

The new, painted and gilt moulded wood frame, the painting was acquired in, was not the choice of the artist and has been replaced with a simpler frame.

Roy Perry
October 1994