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6. Cleaning of the Painting

In September 2022, the Nantucket painting was entrusted to the eminent paintings conservator, Theresa Carmichael in Bedford, MA (https://www.carmichaelart.com), who began removing the old varnish layer ¼ of the picture at a time. As the original colors were “excavated” they appeared to be a close match to those in FWN 119.  Ideally, a comparative chemical analysis of the pigments used in both paintings should be undertaken.  (We would be surprised if they were not an exact match.)

Fig. 31 a, b.  The painting ¼ cleaned (right), October 10, 2022, contrasted with FWN 119, at left.
Fig. 32 a, b:  The painting ½ cleaned (right), November. 8, 2022, contrasted with FWN 119, at left.
Fig. 33 a, b: The painting ¾ cleaned (right), November. 8, 2022, contrasted with FWN 119, at left.
Fig. 34 a, b: The painting entirely cleaned (right), June 2023, contrasted with FWN 119, at left.

Fig. 34 c.  An mp4 video now contrasting FWN 119 with the fully cleaned Nantucket painting.  The similarities and differences between the two are dramatically revealed here.  There seems little doubt, comparing the two, that the latter painting, done on paper, with a foreground painted on a thick ground, applied with a palette knife, and a background, painted with a thin oil wash, was a preliminary study for the former, done on canvas and evenly painted overall with oils with fine tiny diagonal brush strokes.