Technique and condition

The painting was executed on a medium-weight linen canvas, which is attached to its original stretcher by iron tacks into the sides of the frame. The canvas was primed by the artist, probably with Talens Gesso Primer, in two fairly thin layers (letter to Tate Gallery, February 1992).

An initial drawing was painted onto the primed surface in a neutral colour such as raw umber, diluted with turpentine. Artists' oil paints were applied by brush in several fairly thin layers over the face of the canvas, leaving some areas of white priming visible. However, there is some variation in paint thickness with extensively turpentine thinned veils of colour, contrasted with sharp areas of brushmarked impasto.

The painting is not varnished and is in good condition apart from a few minor losses and abrasions to the surface. On acquisition a new frame was made with the approval of the artist: 'I like my frames to be fairly simple so as to support the painting, but not an elaborate feature in themselves' (letter, February 1992).

Jo Crook
November 1997