The fixative Varley has used on this drawing is very different to the other works in this section; it could almost be mistaken for a coloured wash. On closer observation it resembles a diluted natural resin that painters would use in varnishing pictures. The uneveness of the application suggests that Varley did not know it was going to discolour. The fixative has penetrated the paper unevenly. Parts of the drawing have not been covered with fixative. The richness of the soft, dark graphite is visible in the unfixed areas, whereas the rest of the drawing has been dulled by the fixative.
Gallery label, August 2004
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