Colour Change in 'The Conversion of the Magdalen' attributed to Pedro Campaña

Marika Spring, Nicholas Penny, Raymond White and Martin Wyld
Technical Bulletin Volume 22, 2001

Abstract

The National Gallery version of The Conversion of the Magdalen, which has changed colour, is compared to the same scene painted by Luca Longhi, once attributed to Zuccaro or Carletto Caliari.

Deterioration of smalt, fading of a red lake (analysis suggested cochineal), and the discoluration of green copper-containing glazes are responsible. These are discussed in some detail.

Reconstructions of the paint layers were made with equivalent modern materials, ground to make the particle size range found in the painting, and extended with alumina to match the shade of well-preserved examples.

Colour measurements on these allowed colour digital images to be generated representing the likely original appearance of the National Gallery version. This was close to the present appearance of the other version. The comparison suggested further colours which might have changed in the National Gallery version, and examination proved that this was indeed the case.

Keywords 

artists' materials, discolouration, Pedro de Campaña, oil paintings

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Colour Change in 'The Conversion of the Magdalen' attributed to Pedro Campaña, Marika Spring, Nicholas Penny, Raymond White and Martin Wyld (PDF 7.25MB)

 

 

To cite this article we suggest using

Spring, M., Penny, N., White, R., Wyld, M. 'Colour Change in "The Conversion of the Magdalen" attributed to Pedro Campaña'. National Gallery Technical Bulletin Vol 22, pp 54–63.
http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/technical-bulletin/spring_penny_white_wyld2001


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