Technique and condition

The painting was executed on a single piece of fine, plain weave linen canvas that was attached to an aluminium stretcher surrounded by softwood battens with staples around all edges. The linen appears commercially primed, but was more likely to have been primed by the artist and then cut down to its present size (the top edge is unprimed). An unpigmented animal glue 'size' layer was probably the first layer to be applied to the canvas. The subsequent white priming is an oil ground, and has the appearance of a coating applied with a roller. The overall priming is even and thin, with the canvas texture still very apparent through it.

The paint is oil and appears to have been applied in a range of techniques and consistencies, ranging from the reasonably thick areas of white and pink paint used for the pattern in the sleeves, to the heavily thinned areas that characterise most of the rest of the painting. Subsequently, in much of the painting the canvas weave texture remains very evident. The red paint seen in the lower half of the painting would have been used in such a diluted form, that it is barely more than a stain. The diluted areas typically result in thinner paint layers that are usually more matt, whereas if used straight from the tube, oil paint will tend to cover the canvas texture and look reasonably glossy.

The painting is in excellent condition and should remain so providing appropriate care is taken when handling and displaying the work.

Tom Learner
June 2000