Technique and condition

The painting comprises a primed linen support stretched over a six-member wooden stretcher. The composition appears to have been drawn with pencil onto the primed support. The paint has then been applied, the artist using a variety of brushes and a palette knife. Evidence of palette knife work is visible in the white tiles behind the kitchen sink.The composition has been applied in three systems. Firstly, thinner paint has been used to construct the finer details such as the table, tap, pots and pans. Secondly, the sitter, the tiled floor, hanging fabric top right and money on the table have been painted in quite vehicular paint. Finally, textured and more paste-like paint has been used to paint in the rest of the details such as the water-carrier, shopping bag etc. Raking light photographs clearly show that the artist has returned to the tiled floor and incised the out-line of each tile into the paint.

The painting is in a fair condition, mainly suffering from neglect. The support has suffered two tears with surrounding surface deformation, one top left on the fold edge and one in the tiles towards to the right of the tap. The canvas also has some water staining on the reverse and is quite dusty. The most disturbing feature of this painting are the drying cracks visible in the wine bottle and table legs. A very slightly discoloured and uneven varnish and a thick layer of dirt and brown stains cover the paint layer.

Rachel Barker
June 2001