Eight portraits at the Tate Gallery by Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) were examined to assess whether the varnishes could be removed safely. Analysis of the paint medium was carried out with DTMS (direct temperature-resolved pyrolysis mass spectrometry), varnish having been removed beforehand in test cleans by a variety of methods. Most samples included mixtures of the following media: linseed and walnut oils (some with lead driers), beeswax, mastic resin, Venice turpentine and on occasion bitumen. Beeswax was a significant component of the paint film in several paintings. An assessment was made of the effects of cleaning methods on areas of paint.

Additional Metadata
Publisher James
Citation
Jones, R. R, Townsend, J. H, & Boon, J. J. (1999). A technical assessment of eight portraits by Reynolds being considered for conservation treatment. In 12th Triennial Meeting Lyon 29 August - 3 September 1999 ; Vol. 1, ICOM-CC ICOM Committee for Conservation (pp. 375–380). James.