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The Transfer of Cima's 'The Incredulity of S. Thomas'

Martin Wyld and Jill Dunkerton
Technical Bulletin Volume 9, 1985


The two-part article begins with an account of the documentary and physical history of Cima da Conegliano's altarpiece, The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, painted c.1504 for the now destroyed church of San Francesco, Portogruaro, up to its acquisition by the National Gallery (London) in 1870. It was felt this history might provide some reasons for the condition which made its transfer necessary, although another reason for its extensive flaking may well have been initially poor preparation of the poplar panel.

The need for almost non-stop blister-laying is described. The decision was made to transfer the painting to a new panel. There was fortunately no serious cleavage between gesso and paint layer that could have prevented a successful transfer. A description is given of how the wood was removed after first facing the painting. The biggest problem was extensive penetration of blister-laying adhesives. The attachment of the paint layer to its new support is described in detail after an explanation of the choice of reinforcing adhesive for gesso, an interleaf cloth, and an adhesive for the new panel.

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altars, Giovanni Battista Cima da Conegliano, Incredulity of Saint Thomas, transfer

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The Transfer of Cima's 'The Incredulity of S. Thomas', Martin Wyld and Jill Dunkerton (PDF 20.53MB)

To cite this article we suggest using

Wyld, M., Dunkerton, J. 'The Transfer of Cima's "The Incredulity of S. Thomas"'. National Gallery Technical Bulletin Vol 9, pp 38–59.


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