Painting Conservation, Part 2
This week, after taking a number of photographs, I am writing up my condition report on ‘Boats on the Shore’. The report includes detailed descriptions of both back and front of the picture.
The reverse of the frame has this handwritten label – signed and inscribed in ink:
No 8 Sketch FW Jackson Middleton Junct. Nr Oldham.
The painting is also signed in the lower right corner on the front. The report records details of the damages – the length and shape of the tears, any paint loss, the condition of the paint, the canvas and the adhesion of the paint to the canvas support.
The picture is attached to a wooden stretcher and has eight keys (or wedges) which are used to tighten the canvas if necessary. These can become loose and lodge themselves between the back of the canvas and the stretcher bar causing a bulge visible on the front of the picture. The Jackson has all eight wedges in place but there is some debris in the corners, including an old spider’s web.
As part of the conservation work on the picture the keys will be attached to the stretcher bars to prevent them causing a problem if they become dislodged.