Sir Abe Bailey Bequest
Home    Information    Conservation    News    Exhibitions    Catalogue    Loans    Glossary    Contact   
Look up all news by year:  2020 •  2017 •  2016 •  2015 •  2014 •  2013 •  2012 •  2011 •  2010 •  2009 •  2008 •  2007 •  2006 •  2005 •  2004 •  2003

George Romney

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

SECONDARY SUPPORT 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 read”55” and β€œJAMES BOURLETT & SONS, Ltd., Fine Art Packers, Frame Makers c 23593 17 & 18 Nassau Street, Mortimer Street. Phones: - Museum 1871 & 7588” This is a printed label using black ink on paper pulp paper. The label could have been put on in 1946, see historical correspondence.

PRIMARY SUPPORT 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.

GROUND 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.

PAINT LAYER 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.

  • 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 sitter’s left eye.

FRAME The frame was cleaned, missing moldings re-made, re-leafed (24 carrot gold) and patina finish carried out.


Please note some downloads will need to be rotated in your PDF Reader.

 Original SANG acquisition form (format: PDF; size: 780kb)

Page 1   1 | 
Click the image for a view of: Whole front, during cleaning
Whole front, during cleaning
Click the image for a view of: Whole front after cleaning
Whole front after cleaning
Click the image for a view of: Detail of x-ray taken by Liz Cowley
Detail of x-ray taken by Liz Cowley
Click the image for a view of: Detail of x-ray taken by Liz Cowley
Detail of x-ray taken by Liz Cowley
Posted: 2011/12/14 (12:21:17 PM)

Copyright © 2003-2019. Iziko Museums of Cape Town. All rights reserved.