Technique and condition

Painted on a commercially prepared white lead primed linen canvas, attached to a stretcher.

The image covers the whole of the stretched canvas face and is built up in many layers of predominantly opaque artists' oil colours. All the forms including the drawing are executed in paint and underwent continual revision as the painting proceeded.

Although the colours are opaque and the consistency of the paint lean, earlier forms which had been painted previously are clearly visible both as pentimenti and in the conformation of the surface where the shallow impastoes of underlying layers are retained. The broad areas of colour are laid in with a flat brush and occasionally colours are intermixed on the canvas leaving vigorous brushmarking but only occasional low impastoes. The paint used for drawing is fluid and often thinly applied in a calligraphic style.

The painting is not varnished and the variations between matt and infrequent glossy areas are the result of many over-lying layers. The intervals between layers were sufficient to be touch dry when reworked leaving the underlying brushwork intact. The painting was in good condition on acquisition, although the brittle paint films had begun to crack in some areas. The surface was covered with a layer of surface dirt and some white efflorescence in the bottom third of the painting. The painting was surface cleaned and the efflorescence treated on acquisition. The painting is framed by a simple moulded wooden frame, possibly original.

Roy Perry