Patrick Symons

Mary Iliff’s Viola Played by Electric Light and Drawn by Gas Light

1974–89

Artist
Patrick Symons 1925–1993
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Unconfirmed: 1740 x 1664 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased with assistance from the Sir Andrew Carnwath Charitable Trust and an anonymous benefactor 1999
Reference
T07495

Not on display

Technique and condition

Symons worked on this painting over a fifteen year period. His technique and materials are traditional. The stretched linen canvas has a white priming. Graphite pencil marks are visible in many places where he drew out the carefully realised composition.

Thin applications of paint have been applied first. Subsequently, tube consistency colours have been brushed on. Numerous applications of paint in some areas have resulted in the canvas texture being obscured. There is no varnish.

Presumably some time after it was completed the painting was lined onto a second piece of linen. Possibly this was carried out because cracks and distortions were visually disturbing by this time. A special frame was also made with wide sides and less wide top and bottom faces. All faces are in plane with the picture plane. The completed painting was signed by the artist in the bottom right corner.

Tim Green
January 1999

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