‘A Technical Examination of Surface Deterioration of Stanley Spencer’s Paintings at Sandham Memorial Chapel'

Aviva Burnstock, M. Odlyha, M. Caldwell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Describes an examination of some of the materials and techniques used by Stanley Spencer for the series of paintings in Sandham Memorial Chapel at Burghclere, Reading, Berkshire, England, with reference to the causes of surface deterioration of the paintings. Analysis of the painting materials and samples of blanched material suggest that the blanching is caused by degradation of the oil binder in the paint and/or ground, by hydrolysis of esters to free fatty acids and associated loss of adhesion of inorganic particles within the paint layer. By a process of migration or simple abrasion of these inorganic materials, the varnish becomes separated from the paint layer and eventually breaks up, exacerbating desaturation and opacification which produces blanching. The mechanism of migration of organic and inorganic material through paint is yet to be examined.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICOM Committee for Conservation tenth triennial meeting, Washington, DC, 22-27 August 1993: preprints
Place of PublicationParis
Publisher International Council of Museums Committee for Conservation
Pages231-238
ISBN (Print)0-935868-65-8
Publication statusPublished - 1993

    Fingerprint

Cite this

Burnstock, A., Odlyha, M., & Caldwell, M. (1993). ‘A Technical Examination of Surface Deterioration of Stanley Spencer’s Paintings at Sandham Memorial Chapel'. In ICOM Committee for Conservation tenth triennial meeting, Washington, DC, 22-27 August 1993: preprints (pp. 231-238). Paris: International Council of Museums Committee for Conservation .