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John Singelton Copley R.A.


Title: Portrait of a Lady Date: Undated
Signature: Not present
Accession No: 1657
Dimensions: 76.2 x 63.2 cm
Frame: Wooden, gesso molded, gilded

Condition Report
Secondary Support The secondary support of the painting is a 6-member mortise and tennon stretcher (W: 7.5cm T: 2cm). All 8 keys are present. It is suspected that this is a replacement stretcher as it has been lined and it was common practice to replace stretchers at this time. The condition of the stretcher is good.

Primary Support The primary support is a medium-weight tabby weave linen canvas. The lining canvas is a finer weight canvas. It has been composition lined, the original tacking margins removed and the edges covered with brown paper.

Ground The ground appears to be cream in colour and is in a good condition.

Paint Layer The paint is applied in thin layers using a brush, with impasto in the highlights. The paint layer is in a sound condition and fine age cracks can be seen particularly clearly in the flesh tones. The paint layer appears slightly abraded with some of the peaks of the paint layer appearing lighter.

Varnish The painting is covered by a layer of surface dirt and discoloured varnish. Under ultra-violet light it appears to fluoresce a milky green colour indicating a natural resin varnish. In the hollows of the paint layer the remnants of a previous varnish can been seen. This appears darker in tone and is most evident in lighter areas. Together with the fact that the painting has been lined, this suggests that the upper layer of varnish is not original.

Treatment report The painting was documented photographically before and during treatment.

The surface dirt was removed using a reagent. The varnish was removed using an organic solvent.

The back of the painting was cleaned and dirt was removed from between the canvas and the stretcher bar.

An isolating brush conservation varnish was applied and small areas of losses were retouched, before applying a final varnish.

The frame was cleaned, losses filled and coloured and the rebate of the frame was lined using felt. The painting was then secured in the frame using flexible brass plates.

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Click the image for a view of: Whole front, before treatment
Whole front, before treatment
Click the image for a view of: Detail
Detail
Click the image for a view of: Detail
Detail
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Detail
Click the image for a view of: Detail
Detail
Click the image for a view of: Whole front, during treatment
Whole front, during treatment
Click the image for a view of: Detail
Detail
Click the image for a view of: Detail
Detail
Click the image for a view of: Detail
Detail
Posted: 2005/12/08 (01:28:50 PM)

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