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Glossary

  • Blanched: Where a painting's varnish has been damaged by water, degraded through age or partially dissolved with solvents, it can take on a whitish, clouded appearance, called blanching.
  • Cusping: This refers to the edge of the stretched canvas. When a canvas is stretcher it is attached to a stretcher with tacks or sometimes staples. This creates tension in the canvas. At the extreme canvas edge the canvas is puller nearer to the outer edge where it is attached with the tacks, this is called cusping.
  • Ground: A ground is the surface on which you paint. A ground can be any colour, although white is the most common. To create a coloured ground, colour can be added to the primer or a layer of colour applied over the priming.
  • Lined: Attaching new canvas to the back of the original painting canvas with adhesive. This adds structural stability to fragile paintings, and reduces the tension and detrimental forces acting on the paint layers.
  • Stretcher: Wooden frame over which a painting’s canvas is stretched. The framework can expand in size by tapping small wedges of wood into the corer joints. This means the painting’s canvas can be kept at the correct tension.
  • Turnover: The turnover or tacking edge is the outer edge of canvas that is stretched or wrapped around a wooden framework and secured to this with tacks or staples. This edge is easily damaged through handling and by the tacks that secure it.

Naval terms

  • Bunt: The middle section of a square sail where it was cut full to form a curved cavity.
  • Davits: Davits are paired straight timbers (as in the painting 'Man of War in a Harbour'), or curved iron bars projecting over a ship's stern or side. They are used for lowering or recovering her boats.
  • Line ahead: In the line formation, each warship followed in the wake of the ship ahead so that every ship in the line had a clear field of fire.