Technique and condition

The primary support for Landscape, Blasted Tree is linen canvas stretched over a pine stretcher. The canvas is a fine, 1 x 1, plain weave fabric with a black stamp on the reverse reading, Winsor & Newton’s Prepared Canvas. R.114. London England. The expandable stretcher has four members with non-mitred, mortise and tenon joints. The canvas was commercially prepared with a layer of size, probably animal glue, and given one layer of priming. This off-white oil priming is thinly and evenly applied. It covers the thread interstices but the canvas texture is still apparent.

The muted shades of oil paint were applied to the front face of the canvas only. Thin washes of colour were brush applied in superimposed layers. The brushwork is vigorous in application, softened with blending on the surface. The paint is generally semi-transparent with some spots of opaque paint.There are areas of low, textured paint and the canvas weave is apparent. The surface has a soft, slightly patchy sheen.

The painting is in generally good condition. There were some deformations caused by impact with the stretcher bars and there were a few dents and draws. The surface was coated with grime. There were a few abrasions around the edges of the painting.

The painting was surface cleaned front and back. The work underwent a series of flattening treatments to remove the dents and reduce the over deformations. This was partially successful. Additional staples were added to the tacking edges to hold and improve the stretch. A padded insert was placed between the canvas and the backboard to assist in preventing further damage.

Patricia Smithen
Auguts 2003