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Condition before treatment

Painting of an old lady in a white dress with fabric draped across her shoulders. A yellowed glaze on the painting makes it dark and distorts the appearance of the colours

The painting before treatment

Before conservation the painting was covered with thick layers of deeply discoloured varnish and only under a strong light was the colour of the green curtain in the top right visible. The surface tended to a matt brown tonality and the sitter’s arms and dress were disfigured by dark spotting. Old and recent flake losses were evident along the stretcher bar marks and a marked network of craquelure was present.

Initial tests on the varnish showed that two layers were present: a yellowed varnish probably dating from the 1950s and a much older, natural resin varnish which was more deeply discoloured.

The same painting shown before, this time lit from the side to reveal cracking and distortion of the surface

The painting before treatment under raking light.
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