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Subject: Red backing cloths on paintings

Red backing cloths on paintings

From: Michael J. O'Malley <michael.o'malley>
Date: Thursday, August 24, 2000
I'm looking for other occurrences of hand-dyed red backing cloths
tacked to the reverse of painting stretchers. These cotton cloths
are thought to have been dipped into a solution of glue, starch and
red ochre, then tacked to the stretcher reverse while still wet.

It is thought that an English restorer, J. Purves Carter, applied
these backings to several paintings he treated from an historic
collection in Quebec City.  Purves Carter worked here for a brief
time around 1908.  A catalogue raisonne he wrote describing this
collection states he was an "art expert to the late Marquis of Bute,
and Henry Doetsch collections." He is thought to have worked in many
American cities, including New York, Boston, Patterson, Washington,
and Baltimore.  Apparently he studied picture restoration under Sir
Frederick Burton and Raffaelle Pinti in London, and may also have
worked on paintings at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.  Any
information on Purves Carter or on the nature and presumed function
of these red backing cloths would be gladly received.

Michael O'Malley
Centre de Conservation du Quebec

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:15
                 Distributed: Thursday, August 24, 2000
                       Message Id: cdl-14-15-010
Received on Thursday, 24 August, 2000

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