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All catalogue entries by Jill Dunkerton and Marika Spring. With contributions from Rachel Billinge, Helen Howard, Gabriella Macaro, Rachel Morrison, David Peggie, Ashok Roy, Lesley Stevenson and Nelly von Aderkas

Technical Bulletin Volume 36, 2015


Volume 36 of the National Gallery Technical Bulletin focuses on Titian’s technique from after 1540 to his death in 1576. The results of technical examination of eight canvases in the National Gallery (two owned jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland) are assembled in the catalogue entries. One of these, Venus and Adonis, is generally accepted as a product of the workshop but it is included for comparison with the other seven paintings. X-radiography and digital infrared reflectography have been carried out on all the paintings. Paint samples from all the works have been investigated, including a comprehensive set of paint cross-sections made at the National Galleries of Scotland during treatment of Diana and Actaeon and Diana and Callisto. The paint binding medium has been analysed by GC–MS when suitable samples were available, and the dyestuffs in red lake pigments have been identified by high performance liquid chromatography. Most importantly for the study of Titian’s technique, the materials and layer structure in paint cross-sections have been studied by optical microscopy, supplemented by energy-dispersive X-ray analysis in the scanning electron microscope, transmission FTIR analysis and attenuated total reflectance–Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopic imaging


Titian, Venice, painting technique, canvas, pigments, underdrawing, X-radiograph, pentimenti, imprimitura, smalt, ultramarine, vermilion, red lead, red lake, kermes, madder, cochineal, azurite, lead-tin yellow, verdigris, malachite yellow earth, orpiment, realgar, walnut oil, linseed oil

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Cat. 1: The Vendramin Family, venerating a Relic of the True Cross, 1540–5 (NG 4452)
Cat. 2: An Allegory of Prudence, c.1550 (NG 6376)
Cat. 3: Venus and Adonis, 1554–6 (NG 34)
Cat. 4: Diana and Actaeon, 1556–9 (NG 6611; NGS 2839)

 Download cats 1-4 (PDF 12.4MB)

Cat. 5: Diana and Callisto, 1556–9 (NG 6616; NGS 2844)
Cat. 6: The Tribute Money, 1567–8 (NG 224)
Cat. 7: The Virgin suckling the Infant Christ, c.1565–75 (NG 3948)
Cat. 8: The Death of Actaeon, c.1559–76 (NG 6420)

 Download cats 5-8 (PDF 12.4MB)

 Download notes and bibliography (PDF 3.3MB)

All of the high-resolution and other supporting images related to National Gallery Technical Bulletin Volume 36 can be accessed here

To cite this article we suggest using

Dunkerton, J. and Spring, M., with contributions from R. Billinge, H. Howard, G. Macaro, R. Morrison, D. Peggie, A. Roy, L. Stevenson and N. on Aderkas, ‘Catalogue’, National Gallery Technical Bulletin Vol. 36, 2016, pp. 40–115.