Technique and condition

An oil-primed canvas prepared by George Rowney Ltd has been probably stretched by the artist to form the painting support. The composition closely follows that in a small, 5 x 61/4 squared up pencil sketch. A matching grid is visible in the painting in several places, such as in the top, middle area. The squares on the painting are 21/4 square.

Thinned grey paint is visible around some of the forms, used to depict outlines. Thorough planning has allowed the artist to apply the paint in a thin, predominantly single thickness. In only a few areas are several layers of paint present. All the paint has the characteristic marking of bristle brushes. In places the wet paint has been scribbled in, possibly with the end of the brush. Flat areas of colour are used generally. There is quite a variety of matt and gloss. This is probably a feature of the specific colours used, rather than the artist adding thinner or additional medium. Hence the alizarin crimson depicted cap looks rich with medium, whereas the brown earth coloured area located upper right, appears matt. However, in the bottom left corner area, there appear to be some matt areas in the ochre coloured arm of the figure. When viewed in reflected light, some liquid does appear to have been brushed on, possibly an oiling out layer applied to re-saturate the colour. Overall the paint does not appear to be varnished.

Tim Green
November 1999