Technique and condition

Painted in oil colours on a commercially prepared, stretched, linen canvas with a white oil ground. There are traces of graphite pencil marks around the edges which relate to a squaring up process. The composition has also been carefully drawn out in pencil which is visible in areas such as the middle distance.

The paint has generally been applied in one layer conforming to the discrete shapes of the drawn image. The paint is of moderate thickness, in most areas it has been applied stiffly enough to retain brushmarks and fine impastoes. Certain areas were reworked by the artist at a later date. The newer paint appears less discoloured and less textured. Under ultra violet light examination, white artist's retouchings in the sky fluoresce very strongly in comparison with the older white paint. This suggests that Spencer has used different white pigments at the two stages of work, possibly zinc white over lead white. There is a general coating of a natural resin varnish over the picture. This has slightly yellowed but is in good condition.

The painting is in good condition. It was surface cleaned and its frame was improved on acquisition in 1990.

Lucy Pearce