National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Tarquin and Lucretia Giuseppe Maria Crespi (artist)
Bolognese, 1665 - 1747
Tarquin and Lucretia, c. 1695/1700
oil on canvas
overall: 195 x 171.5 cm (76 3/4 x 67 1/2 in.) framed: 222.9 x 201.9 x 14.3 cm (87 3/4 x 79 1/2 x 5 5/8 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
1952.5.30
On View
From the Tour: The Emergence of New Genres
Object 5 of 6

Conservation Notes

The support is a coarse, twill-weave fabric prepared with a white ground and a red-brown imprimatura. The image was blocked out using white and very dark brown paint, and then executed with fast brushwork in sweeps and dabs. X-radiographs show that Lucretia's head was raised, and the position of her mouth was changed. The curtain was also raised to follow the form of the bed. The entwined limbs were executed as follows: Tarquin's right side and head were sketched in, then the figure-eight loop was completed by adding Lucretia's right arm, and finally Tarquin's left hand was painted over Lucretia's completed shoulder.

The original dimensions of the painting have been significantly altered. The tacking margins have been removed on all sides. In x-radiographs distinct cusping is visible only at the top, suggesting that the painting was cut down at the left, right, and bottom. A strip measuring 31.8 cm was added at the top early in the painting's history, judging from its condition. The strip was painted to match the original composition, but its colors have not aged in the same way. Alterations in the pigments of the main composition have changed its tonal balance and color; the reds have faded and the increased transparency in the darks has led to a loss of definition in the shadows. There are numerous small tears and losses of ground and paint. Areas of darkened overpaint are present throughout. The painting was relined, discolored varnish was removed, and the painting was restored by Stephen Pichetto about 1940.

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