Cosimo Tura as Painter and Draughtsman: The Cleaning and Examination of his 'Saint Jerome'

Jill Dunkerton
Technical Bulletin Volume 15, 1994

Abstract

This panel painting was in the typical condition of one restored by Molteni in the 19th century; infrared reflectography could be carried out successfully through his varnish and retouches. Molteni also 'corrected' the composition of Saint Jerome in numerous areas. Cleaning revealed the original paint and made it clear that the panel had not been cut down to any significant extent.

A Congo copal varnish below the Molteni varnish made it possible to connect the painting's history with that of other fragments, and proved that the original painting was divided between 1783 and 1836. Technical examination showed that Tura used white gesso and charcoal underdrawing, then a thin layer of yellow-brown paint which gave contrast to fine lines of lead white paint used to highlight the underdrawing. Tura's preparatory techniques are discussed in detail.

Keywords 

charcoal, copal, Cosmè Tura, gesso, lead white, panel paintings, varnish

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To cite this article we suggest using

Dunkerton, J. 'Cosimo Tura as Painter and Draughtsman: The Cleaning and Examination of his "Saint Jerome"'. National Gallery Technical Bulletin Vol 15, pp 42–53.
http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/technical-bulletin/dunkerton1994


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