Skip to main content

Table 1 Summary of the results of visual examination, XRF and Raman analysis, as well as sampling locations for casein-based fixative identification for a selection of Gainsborough drawings. NA indicates samples or areas either not removed or not analyzed

From: Mixing, dipping, and fixing: the experimental drawing techniques of Thomas Gainsborough

Accession number Title Date Medium (from object label) White pigments (confirmed with XRF and/or Raman) Coatings (inferred from visual examination) Sampling locations for casein identification with nano-LC/MS
2005.82 Study of Trees 1750 Graphite, with fixative, on laid paper NA Coating broadly applied with brush over media White wash in background
III, 60 Landscape with Group of Figures Resting on a Hillside 1770s Brown chalk, lead white and blue oil paint, varnished, on laid paper Lead white (area of cloud and sky near top edge at center) Probable natural resin varnish NA
III, 55 Landscape with Horse and Cart, and Ruin 1770–1775 Oil paint, lead white chalk and watercolor over black chalk, varnished, on laid paper Lead white (area of building at right and cloud at center) Probable natural resin varnish NA
2014.32 Open Landscape with Drover and Packhorses 1775–1780 Watercolor and opaque watercolor, on brown laid paper Lead white (area of cloud to the left of tree, opaque background, and all highlights) No visible coating, bright lead white Background with possible white wash
III, 63 Landscape with Horse and Cart Descending a Hill  ca. 1780  Black chalk with smudging, on wove paper  NA Deteriorated overall coating and probable selective use of wet media or binder to make chalk washes  Bare spot of upper right corner where G. may have held the paper while dipping in fixative
Background, middle of sky, right of tree (no paint apparent)
Background, sky above trees, right side (no paint apparent)
2017.89 Coastal Scene with Shipping, Figures, and Cows ca. 1780 Black watercolor and white opaque watercolor over black chalk with smudging NA Probable overall coating, bright lead white Background, left portion of sky (no paint apparent)
III, 61 Wooded Landscape with Horseman, Figures, and Bridge ca. 1780 Black chalk with smudging, opaque lead white, on laid paper Lead white (areas of river bank at proper left and cloud at center) Locally applied, deteriorated coating Center of pond (no paint apparent)
III, 62 Hilly Landscape with Cows on the Road  ca. 1780  Black chalk with smudging, white chalk applied wet, on wove paper  Calcite (area of sheep on proper left at bottom, and white spots on tree at center) Probable overall coating and selective use of wet media or binder to make chalk washes Background, above trees (no paint apparent)
Foreground, shaded road
III, 63a Wooded Landscape with Cows in a Pool 1780–1785 Black wash, lead white watercolor and red chalk over traces of black chalk, on laid paper Lead white (highlights of cow) Deteriorated overall coating Front shoulder of light colored cow at center
III, 59 A Woman with Three Children 1780–1785 Black chalk with smudging, and white chalk, some applied wet, on tan laid paper Calcite (areas from girl’s dress and baby’s arm) No visible coating and selective use of wet media or binder to make chalk washes  NA
III, 63b Lady Walking in a Garden ca. 1785 Black and white chalks with smudging, worked wet and dry, watercolor, on laid paper washed with watercolor Calcite (area of lady’s gown) No visible coating and selective use of wet media or binder to make chalk washes  NA