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Before Treatment - Diagnosis of the Painting

Before Treatment - Diagnosis of the Painting

Before Treatment - Diagnosis of the Painting

The painting was in an unstable condition.

A lot of tacks on the left side and right side of the painting were loose, missing or rusted which meant part of the tacking margins was detached from the stretcher. The canvas had, therefore, expanded and contracted unevenly with moisture from the environment and - after a long period of time – this had caused severe quilting and buckling on the four corners and especially on the right side of the painting.

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The canvas had become slack and sagged and developed stretcher bar marks on the surrounding edges.

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The varnish of the painting was ageing and seriously yellowing.

Lots of areas, especially the dark background, were covered by heavy inpainting which left an uneven lustre on the surface.

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It caused not only serious visual disturbance but also more severe deterioration through ageing. In certain areas, especially the edge where the frame covered the painting, lots of abrasions and paint losses were visible and the ground layer was exposed.

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There were also drying cracks near the hands of Rosa Markham and some ageing cracks all over the painting but, luckily, they were all stable.

Three holes were found on the painting. One of them was in the middle under the central stretcher bar and a small piece of fabric was missing. The others were on the bottom stretcher bar which we speculated were caused by nails hidden between the canvas and the stretcher that punctured the painting from the reverse side.  

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Last updated on 22 August 2023