Title: Man in a red coat
Acc. No.: 1623
Technique: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 641 x 542 mm
Frame: Wooden, gesso moulded, gilded gold
Treatment: March - December 2011
This is a 5 member stretcher, where all 10 keys are present. The general condition is good. There are two labels on the central cross-bar that readβ55β and βJAMES BOURLETT & SONS, Ltd., Fine Art Packers, Frame Makers c 23593 17 & 18 Nassau Street, Mortimer Street. Phones: - Museum 1871 & 7588β This is a printed label using black ink on paper pulp paper. The label could have been put on in 1946, see historical correspondence.
The primary support is a medium-weight tabby twill weave canvas. The lining canvas is a tabby weave and lighter in weight. The condition of the lining canvas is good and the primary support sound. Evenly placed tacks attach the canvas to the stretcher. Some dirt is caught between the canvas and stretcher.
The ground appears to be cream in colour and is in a sound condition. It can be seen to show though in a number of localized areas, as the paint layer is fairly thin.
Brush strokes can be seen clearly, and the paint is fairly even with slight impasto in the highlights. Fine age cracks can be seen in some of the lighter areas. Abrasions can be seen also in some of the lighter areas. The paint layer is very thin the darker background.
Two layers of varnish can be seen. A second darker varnish has collected in the hollows of the canvas. They are both natural resin varnish layers and covered by a layer of surface dirt. This is not the original varnish.
TREATMENT CARRIED OUT
- Photographic record was taken and this was maintained throughout treatment.
- Tests were carried out to remove the surface dirt. After the appropriate reagent was found, cleaning proceeded safely and effectively. Cleaning proceeded using a swab stick.
- Following tests including a safety margin-cleaning test, an organic solvent was found to remove the discoloured varnish layer safely and effectively. Cleaning proceeded using a swab stick. During varnish removal, it was found that there was a layer of over-paint in the areas of the drying cracks.
- Dirt was removed from between the canvas and the stretcher bar and the back of the canvas was cleaned. The keys were secured.
- An isolating brush conservation varnish was applied. Losses were retouched and a final conservation varnish was applied.
- The frame was cleaned; both front and back, losses filled, made, gilded and coloured. The rebate was lined with felt and the painting secured using brass plates.
Right: the x-ray
shows the changes to the shoulder, hair and slight changes to the sitterβs left eye.
The frame was cleaned, missing moldings re-made, re-leafed (24 carrot gold) and patina finish carried out.