Technique and condition

The painting was executed in oil paint on a single piece of medium weight linen canvas, attached to a softwood expandable stretcher with steel tacks.

The linen canvas was probably first coated with a layer of rabbit skin glue sizing before the application of the pigmented oil ground layer, which is of a warm cream and slightly pink colour and of reasonable thickness. The paint was then applied by brush in a fairly free and fluid manner and the brushmarks are clearly visible in most colours. The paint is generally opaque and matt, although a second layer of blue is markedly higher in gloss. The black paint is particularly flat and matt and was probably thinned down before use. Generally, the black outlines were laid down first, followed by the filling in of the solid colours. There is an area of pentimenti in the horizontal band of the cup in the centre of the work. The painting is signed and dated in the lower right corner. There is no varnish layer.

The painting is in overall excellent condition, with no record of any previous treatment and no sign of any imminent deterioration. The frame is probably original, and has only required minor repairs, such as the reattachment of some areas of the fabric on its front and a slight build up to allow the fitting of glazing and a backboard to offer the painting a much higher degree of protection.

Tom Learner
July 1997