Technique and condition

Painted on primed and stretched canvas. The linen has a relatively coarse, uneven weave and remains attached to its original stretcher with the original set of tacks. The ground layer is an off-white coloured film presumed to be bound in oil and to have been commercial prepared.

An initial pencil drawing is visible and pinholes in the ground and canvas relate to the painting in some of the architectural features. The oil paint had the consistency of paste at the time of application and most paint includes a proportion of white. The resulting paint tends to be opaque in character but the consistently thin application achieves a translucent effect. Isolated areas were scraped back during the painting process and in some this has resulted in cracking of the ground layer. Similar cracking and deformation of the painted canvas has occurred due to canvas slackness over the cruciform cross-membered stretcher. However, the paintfilm is in generally stable condition, although some damages had been retouched and an uneven varnish applied before acquisition by the Tate.

The painting was acquired in a black painted simple L-section frame. The provenance of this frame was in doubt but it provided a satisfactory, albeit basic form of display and protective function and was retained at this date.

Peter Booth
October 1995