Portrait of a Lady c.1700–2 by John Closterman

The painting (fig.1) is on linen canvas which has been lined in the recent past, using a wax-paste emulsion.1 The tacking margins have been retained, most notably at the left edge, where tack holes are present. This indicates that the dimensions have not been altered. Lining distortions are present in the painting affecting all areas. There is an overall brittle fracture crackle, most apparent in the bottom left corner. Examination in ultraviolet light reveals a number of old retouchings, some more subtle, for example on the eyelids of the sitter, but it is not extensive. There are impact marks and abrasions in the lower left area. Overall there are a number of scratches and abrasions of varying severity.

There appears to be a brown priming. Some drawing can be seen in the proper right hand.

The painting is executed with thin applications of paint applied with confidence in only a few layers. In the bottom left corner it seems likely that blue smalt was employed but it has since lost colour.

The painting was acquired without a frame.

March 2022