Watson infrared

John Singleton Copley, Watson and the Shark (detail), infrared reflectogram inset), 1778. National Gallery of Art, Ferdinand Lammot Belin Fund 1963.6.1

The National Gallery's Watson is believed to be the earliest of the three pictures. Infrared reflectography reveals changes Copley made in his preliminary design -- the figure of a young man is revealed beneath that of the elderly boatswain of the finished composition.

 

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