National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Church of Santa Maria della Febbre, Rome Pieter Jansz Saenredam (artist)
Dutch, 1597 - 1665
Church of Santa Maria della Febbre, Rome, 1629
oil on panel
overall: 37.8 x 70.5 cm (14 7/8 x 27 3/4 in.) framed: 51.4 x 84.4 x 5.7 cm (20 1/4 x 33 1/4 x 2 1/4 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
1961.9.34
On View
From the Tour: Dutch Landscapes and Seascapes of the 1600s
Object 7 of 8

Conservation Notes

The support is a beveled horizontally grained oak panel with a slight concave warp. Narrow oak strips, possibly original, are attached to the edges. The vertical strips are sawn at regularly spaced intervals to counteract splitting of the wood. Neither the smooth, thin, white ground layer nor the paint extends onto the strips. Infrared reflectography reveals a loosely executed underdrawing that delineates the church architecture. Minor changes in two of the windows and some architectural details are visible between the drawn and painted stages.

Paint, applied thinly with small brushes, leaves both the wood grain and individual brushstrokes plainly visible. The sky was laid in first, followed by the buildings, with the figures painted over the completed background, in an economical technique employing opaque wet-into-wet layering and thin scumbles and glazes. Figures and landscape are handled similarly and appear contemporaneous.

Abrasion is minimal. Discolored retouchings cover small losses found primarily along the bottom edge, in the church architecture, and the sky. In a selective cleaning, prior to acquisition, a layer of discolored, aged varnish was left over the dark foreground in the lower left and over a clump of bushes rising from the building at the left. The painting has not been restored since its acquisition.

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