Sir Abe Bailey Bequest
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Dean Wolstenholme, Snr


(1757 – 1837)
The Epping Forest Hunt
Oil on Canvas
144 x 195 cm
Acc. No: 1587

Previous Condition: The canvas was free of major losses, tears or distortions. However, the artist’s use of resins, balsams and wax to emulate the rich transparencies of Old Master workd had led to widespread drying cracks of the whole painting, especially in the dark areas. Some cracks were quite wide and had been filled with gypsum and over-painted. In a previous restoration, over cleaning has exposed some of the changes made by the artist, and these had been over painted. The final varnish was heavily yellowed, and much dust and soot had accumulated between the canvas and the lower stretcher bar.

Treatment: The dirt between the stretcher and canvas was removed and the wood of the stretcher was waxed. Using selected solvents, the yellowed varnish was removed. Removal of the old retouchings with an alkaline solution followed, exposing the earlier widespread filling of the cracks. These fillings were softened and mechanically removed. A brush layer of retouching varnish was then applied over the whole surface. New fillings were applied to the deepest cracks. Once textured and sealed, they were retouched with reversible restorer’s colours. A final conservation spray varnish was applied.
The frame was cleaned and small losses replaced, using the same technique as in the Portrait of the Man. These were coloured to match the original. Finally the back of the frame was waxed and the painting was secured in the frame using brass plates. The treatment was carried out in 2001.

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Click the image for a view of: Whole front, normal light, before treatment
Whole front, normal light, before treatment
Click the image for a view of: Whole front, normal light, during cleaning
Whole front, normal light, during cleaning
Click the image for a view of: Detail, during cleaning
Detail, during cleaning
Click the image for a view of: Detail of horses, normal light (2 rider pentiments)
Detail of horses, normal light (2 rider pentiments)
Click the image for a view of: Finer detail of horses, normal light (1 rider pentiment)
Finer detail of horses, normal light (1 rider pentiment)
Click the image for a view of: Very close detail of horses, normal light (1 rider pentiment, with no horse)
Very close detail of horses, normal light (1 rider pentiment, with no horse)
Click the image for a view of: Very close detail of a dog pentiment, normal light
Very close detail of a dog pentiment, normal light
Click the image for a view of: Detail of deer and dogs, after treatment
Detail of deer and dogs, after treatment
Click the image for a view of: Diagram of pentiments revealed during cleaning
Diagram of pentiments revealed during cleaning
Click the image for a view of: After treatment
After treatment
Posted: 2004/12/21 (08:00:00 AM)

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