216 bacon, catalogo 133 en

Page 1

DIAGNOSTIC EXAMINATION

Crucifixion Pastel and collage on paper


CRUCIFIXION _____________________________________________________________________________

TECHNICAL REPORT CONCERNING PASTEL AND COLLAGE ON PAPER CRUCIFIXION WITH SIGNATURE FRANCIS BACON IN ATTACHMENT DOCUMENTS OF EXAMINATION.

Diagnostic examination

2


CRUCIFIXION _____________________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION:

The painting was examined with the following methods: _ Ultraviolet fluorescence _ Infrared reflectography using reflected light _ Infrared reflectography using transmitted light _ Photographic shooting with raking light _ Chemical analysis of the colour in X fluorescence

This examination intends to characterize the techniques of execution, the materials used and the preservation condition of the artwork (Picture 1).

Diagnostic examination

3


CRUCIFIXION _____________________________________________________________________________

VISIBLE LIGHT

Picture 1 – general view of the artwork

Diagnostic examination

4


CRUCIFIXION _____________________________________________________________________________

Shooting with raking light points out the structure of the support, made of three glued paper items. For the base, the artist used a sheet of paper, orange colour, as big as the entire work, i.e. 100 x 70 cm. On the paper base, one pink coloured sheet was horizontally glued, size 70 x 50 cm. On both background sheets, an additional white paper was glued and cut to form a human figure, then pastel painted (Picture 2).

PHOTOGRAPHY WITH RAKING LIGHT

Picture 2 - general view of the artwork

Diagnostic examination

5


CRUCIFIXION _____________________________________________________________________________

Of the three sheets of paper, the orange base is the roughest one followed by the pink and the white ones. The examination with raking light on the face shows some glue residues of a certain thickness, surrounding the painted shape. The collage procedure was not particularly accurate, thus leaving loose some outer edges of the figure, and not removing any adhesive residue. All visible residues are thick and transparent, mainly applied by dripping and not by brush spreading. The use of a thick glue, spread in lines and not in sections, allowed the paper to remain flat on corners, thus avoiding curling (Picture 3).

PHOTOGRAPHY WITH RAKING LIGHT

Picture 3 - glue residues

Diagnostic examination

6


CRUCIFIXION _____________________________________________________________________________

Ultraviolet fluorescence while shooting highlighted the brightness of the paper on which the human figure was painted. Most of the pastel lines are easily distinguishable while, to the naked eye, they have sometimes an homogenous background (Picture 4).

ULTRAVIOLET FLUORESCENCE

Picture 4 - general view of the artwork

Diagnostic examination

7


CRUCIFIXION _____________________________________________________________________________

The colour response to ultraviolet varies according to their chemical composition. Three pink shades may also be found, going from blue to purple and to green-blue, respectively. Under the ultraviolet fluorescence, yellow turns into green. The colours used for contours, that is to say purple and black, turn into blue while the violet and green shades look white. Finally, scratches and rubbing marks are clearly visible (Picture 5).

ULTRAVIOLET FLUORESCENCE

Picture 5 - scratches and rubbing marks

Diagnostic examination

8


CRUCIFIXION _____________________________________________________________________________

The infrared reflectography using transmitted light visually isolates all the dark lines defining the face. Lines are particularly visible since they probably contain charcoal material that is significantly opaque under the infrared light. No preparatory drawing lines in pencil or charcoal are visible. The artwork is thus probably directly made with pastel (Picture 6).

INFRARED REFLECTOGRAPHY USING TRANSMITTED LIGHT

Picture 6a - face detail

Diagnostic examination

9


CRUCIFIXION _____________________________________________________________________________

The reflectography with reflected light shows again the black lines of the face isolated from the painting context and highlights the purple lines outlining the figure (Picture 7).

INFRARED REFLECTOGRAPHY USING REFLECTED LIGHT

Picture 7 - general view of the artwork

Diagnostic examination

10


CRUCIFIXION _____________________________________________________________________________

Its signature is perfectly integrated in the artwork on all wavelengths used during the examination. To exclude any difference between the painting material used for the signature and the same purple shade used in the painting, a comparison test was performed among the pigments at chemicalorganic level. The material comparison confirmed the compatibility detected in multispectral analyses, as it is clear from the overlap of XRF spectra (Picture 8).

EXAMINATION WITH X FLUORESCENCE (XRF)

Picture 8 - graphic overlap of spectra: Black for the signature and red for the purple contour line of the figure

The common marks are: Silica (SI), Sulphur (S), Chlorine (Cl) and Iron (Fe). The examination of the purple contour line of the figure shows marks of Zinc (Zn) and Chromium (Cr), missing in the signature analysis. This difference may be due to the chemical substances used in paper manufacturing. Argon (Ar) is detected because it is present in the air and therefore it is not referred to the painting material.

Diagnostic examination

11


CRUCIFIXION _____________________________________________________________________________

CONCLUSIONS The artwork has one support made of two glued paper sheets, orange and pink colour. A figure is glued on the support, a cut-shaped figure painted on white paper. The sheet was probably painted before gluing it since there is no colour fringing close to the edges of support sheets. Moreover, cutting removes portions of painted paper in some areas (Picture 8).

PHOTOGRAPHY WITH RAKING LIGHT

Picture 8 - detail of the cutting line

The examination did not show any preparatory drawing in pencil or charcoal. The figure contours and the lines defining the face are therefore directly made with colours.

Diagnostic examination

12


CRUCIFIXION _____________________________________________________________________________

From a technical point of view, the work was drawn starting from the purple lines outlining the body and the shape of the face. The artist then used pink backgrounds, dotted on most of the body and subsequently superposed yellow, green and violet spreading. The face was created in a more accurate way, by overlapping different colours, with different thickness. The painting material is partially rubbed, scratched and etched (Picture 9).

PHOTOGRAPHY WITH RAKING LIGHT

Picture 9 - detail of the lumps of colour and of etched marks

Diagnostic examination

13


CRUCIFIXION _____________________________________________________________________________

Generally speaking, the examination of the painting technique highlights a strong immediacy and rapidity of execution that can be identified as follows: First, with regard to the edges of the painted shape, often cut in an imprecise way and glued by staining all support sheets. Moreover, colours are firmly spread on the paper, almost in a violent way, thus creating furrows and lumps. In the face, colour spreading was then rubbed and scratched by mixing different colours in just one paste. Its signature is perfectly integrated in the artwork under a chemical view point and in response to multispectral analyses. As for preservation, aside the folding marks due to its handling, there are no signs of damage or painting restoration: The artwork is in excellent preservation conditions.

Campogalliano, 13th May 2016 Davide Bussolari

Diagnostic examination

14