Technique and condition

The painting was executed on a single piece of medium weight cotton duck canvas that is attached to a seven-membered expandable wooden stretcher with staples at the rear. The artist primed the stretched canvas with a white acrylic emulsion primer over its front and sides. The resulting layer is extremely thin and so the canvas weave texture remains very apparent through it.

The paint is oil and was applied over the stretched face of the canvas. The edges of the painted area are extremely precise, with no drips or smudges visible around the edges. The paint appears to have been applied directly onto the priming with no indication of any initial drawing. The paint application was carried out exclusively by brush and in a very careful manner. Most areas seem to have been built up in a number of very thin layers and much blending ('wet-in-wet' technique) was used, for example in the hair and flesh. The paint was often applied as glazes (the gloss and transparency of the layers has been kept relatively high), although some opaque colours have also been applied as scumbles. No impasto is visible and in all areas the canvas weave is still very apparent. The surface gloss is especially high in the black background, probably the result of medium rich glazes, although a localised varnish can not be ruled out.

The painting is in excellent condition. On acquisition the rear of the painting was given further protection with an insert of a polyester sailcloth.

Tom Learner
March 1999