Technique and condition

Painted in drying oil on primed and stretched canvas. The cotton canvas would appear to have been stretched originally on a relatively flimsy wood strainer. Although the canvas has suffered no serious damage it was at some time removed from this strainer, adhered to a second linen canvas with a glue/paste lining adhesive, and reattached with closely spaced tacks to a more substantial stretcher. A general slackness in the original canvas may have prompted the lining and provision of a new stretcher.

After the original stretching the artist prepared the canvas by the application of two layers of priming; the first a thin layer of brown colour which overlapped onto the tacking edges, the second was white in colour, similarly thin but was applied only to the front plane of the canvas. The intention of the artist would appear to have been to render the canvas less absorbent without significantly altering its appearance.

The paint film was brushed out for the most part in the form of fluid streaked washes, the exception being the central vertical band of opaquely painted lemon yellow.

The condition of the painting was regarded as remarkably good and satisfactorily stable.

When accessioned by the Tate the painting had been fitted with a gilded wood frame of 'hockeystick' section. This was thought inappropriate on the grounds of style and the fact that it hid the edges of the paintings and was removed from the painting and stored for historic reference. A new L-section frame was fitted which allowed the whole of the painting to be seen.

Peter Booth
1996