Boyne Hill Vicarage is painted in artists’ oil paints on what appears to be a commercially primed and stretched canvas. The canvas is one piece of plain-weave cloth, probably linen, with some pronounced uneven threads. It was prepared with an animal glue sizing and an off-white priming that covers all the canvas in an even layer and retains the weave texture. The primed canvas is attached to a four-member stretcher with rusted steel tacks in their original positions at the sides and back. Woodworm infestation has afflicted the stretcher in the past and there are old flight holes in the wood and through the canvas.
The colouring covers most of the initial drawing, but that which remains visible around some of the forms is in blue paint applied in broken brushed lines. The image is developed in layers of opaque paint, working from thinner homogeneous colours laid into the main shapes that are then modified with richer strokes of paint applied fluidly but still retaining some marking and impasto. Some areas consist mainly of the initial layer of colour only, but others have several layers. The roof, with its red underpainting for example, has been worked over with a cool grey onto which the lines of tiling are drawn in purple with occasional tiles picked out in red or orange. The paint surface appears to be worn in places, but this is part of the technique, where the artist has scraped back the colour during painting.
A soft resin varnish was applied after the painting had cracked and dirt accumulated on the surface. It penetrates through the cracks to the back and accentuates the surface patination that dulls the stark impact of the complementary reds and greens of the vicarage set against the creamy pink sky.
How to cite
Roy Perry, 'Technique and Condition', June 2004, in Nicola Moorby, ‘Boyne Hill Vicarage, Maidenhead c.1910 by Malcolm Drummond’, catalogue entry, May 2003, in Helena Bonett, Ysanne Holt, Jennifer Mundy (eds.), The Camden Town Group in Context, Tate Research Publication, May 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/camden-town-group/malcolm-drummond-boyne-hill-vicarage-maidenhead-r1138999, accessed 26 July 2021.