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Ailsa Mellon Bruce [1901-1969], New York; bequest 1970 to NGA.

Technical Summary

The medium-thick canvas is plain woven; it has been lined, but the tacking margins survive intact. The proprietary ground is white, of moderate thickness. The background was blocked in, leaving open the area to be filled by the figure. The painting is executed in very fluid, opaque layers, blended wet into wet in the flesh tones and much of the hair, but with the features, details, and final highlights added over the dried base layer. The paint surface is heavily abraded and pitted. There are extensive retouchings and reglazing from at least two restorations. The natural resin varnish, pigmented with black, has discolored yellow; there are residues of an earlier deep brown varnish.

European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 180, repro., as Circle of John Hoppner, Portrait of a Man.
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 207, repro.
Hayes, John. British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 138-139, repro. 138.
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