I. Painter's Technique
The picture of St Claire from the North-East recess of the Chapel of the Holly Rood can be considered a typical example of Theodoric 's technique, beginning with the beechwood panel made up of four parts, the joints in which are strengthened by little pegs and pasted over with strips of canvas. The two relatively thick ground layers, the lower of silica and the upper of chalk, are . limited to the area of the painting. The emphatic brush drawing in black, partly visible to the naked eye, is seen on the infrared photo to be quite different in the composition of the folds from the painting, which is also the case in the details of the face. These differences are proof of a spontaneous creative approach.

The X-ray photo shows the typical signatory application of lead white, which covers the drawing in horizontal and sometimes slanting strokes and blocks the X-rays so that the thin layer of the painting of the skin almost disappears. The greyish tone of the carnation in the semi-shadows and shadows is due toan admixture of black and also, as is clear on the microscopic cross-sections, blue pigment. The system of thin alyers of colour, the thickness of which is not more than a few hundredths of a milimetre, is documented by the microscopic cross-sections and the analyses carried out in the National Gallery laboratory.

The crystalline natural azurite in the painting of the cloak gives the material an inimitable blue-green shade. The smooth modelling of the folds with the addition of lead white on the highlights is made easier, as was shown by the laboratory analyses, by the presence of an oil medium in the tempera mixture. In the places where the painting of the cloak extends onto the frame the layer of colour tests only on an application of lead white, which in style is the same as the application on the panel. The frame, then, was not covered by other ground layers, as was the background of the picture, where the relief decor is on a ground layer of orange bound with oil.




Master Theodoric – St Clairre


  autor
ak. mal. Radana Hamsíková, AHVT B 035 (J. D.)