Technique and condition

The painting comprises a primed linen support stretched over a somewhat inadequate wooden stretcher. The paint layer consists of several layers of artists' oil paint which have been unevenly applied with a brush. There is widespread re-working throughout as can be demonstrated by examination of the painting in raking light. Particularly noticeable is the alteration of the figure's left foot. This has been lowered in the final composition. Changes in composition are also visible as pentimenti.

There have been many episodes of damage to the painting, some recent and some less so. The earlier damages have been retouched and these appear to be sandwiched between and on top of a discoloured varnish. These are clearly distinguished in the ultra violet photograph. The brush-marks in the varnish are also distinguishable. The painting appears to have suffered numerous scratches and abrasions. These have then been over-painted and the retouchings have subsequently discoloured. The retouching is also visible as it has a very different surface-saturation to the original paint. The edges of the painting have also been damaged many times. Some abrasions have been retouched, some are more recent and require filling and retouching. The surface of the painting is very dusty.

Rachel Barker
June 2001