'The Virgin and Child before a Firescreen': History, Examination and Treatment

Lorne Campbell, David Bomford, Ashok Roy and Raymond White
Technical Bulletin Volume 15, 1994

Abstract

Comparisons are made between The Virgin and Child before a Firescreen and Rogier van der Weyden and Robert Campin's paintings of the Virgin and Child: it seems that this work is an amalgam of ideas from the two artists, painted about 1440. Two additions to the panel were made in the 19th century, painted in a varnish medium. They were cleaned with a water-based soap, while the original paint was solvent-cleaned, revealing lost details. The paint on the additions had been matched to paint with yellowed varnish; this was retained and glazed to reduce the mismatched appearance.

There is some evidence that fire damage prompted the replacement of the two sides. Compositional changes revealed by X-radiography and infrared reflectography are discussed. The ground is chalk in glue, and where the paint could be sampled it had underlayers painted in egg tempera and upper layers in linseed oil. Pigments are detailed, and the materials are compared with others found in early Netherlandish paintings.

Keywords 

chalk, egg tempera, glue, linseed oil, paint, paintings (objects), panel paintings, pigment, Robert Campin, Rogier van der Weyden, varnish

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'The Virgin and Child before a Firescreen': History, Examination and Treatment, Lorne Campbell, David Bomford, Ashok Roy and Raymond White (PDF 13.33MB)

 

 

To cite this article we suggest using

Campbell, L., Bomford, D., Roy, A., White, R. '"The Virgin and Child before a Firescreen": History, Examination and Treatment'. National Gallery Technical Bulletin Vol 15, pp 20–35.
http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/technical-bulletin/campbell_bomford_roy_white1994


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