The aim the work is to distinguish the inidividual masters and their assistants on the basis of the preparatory drawing. The panel pictures in the Holy Rood Chapel were studied by means of photographs in the infra-red band of 850 nm and reflectography in the 1 micron band. Considerable differences in the technique of drawing and in the quality of execution were found; definitive conclusions can be drawn after the assembly of all photographs of all panels on the completion of restoration work. Reflectography provided certain details of the initial drawing were not recorded by infrared photography.

(A) The Technique of Drawing
1) An initial charcoal drawing can only be assumed on the basic of contemporary sources.
2) Premilinary brush drawing in strongly diluted wateres lour.
3) The actual drawing with a brush dipped in black paint
4) Engraved drawing of the outlines of the figures.

(B) The Artistic Type of the Drawing
I Long, energetic strokes; a fluent written line of equal width outlines merely the main features of the face and the folds of the draperies, exceptionally limiting the edge of shadows; relatively few changes in comparison with the preliminary drawing; striking certainty of execution.
II Sings of a search for form, uncertain lines, relatively frequent alterations; the character of the stroke as ad I.




On Left – Church Father. Basic type: long and certain lines of equal width; the edge of the face shadow simply outlined.

On Right – St James the Less. Long lines of striking certainty; only slight differences from the definitive painting




On Left – St Matthew. Change in face proportions: 2 phases of drawing, the older of minor proportions. Close to the basic type of line, but more stereotype in the folds.

On Right – St Claire. Energetic and pliant line, but numerous changes: the painting does not respect the folds drawn previously.

 

III Fine drawing in diluted paint; relatively short brush strokes with a broader line in the middle; signs of shading by means of multiple strokes; small changes compared with the painting.
IV Narrow lines with sharp ends, hatching on the form to indicate shadows and semi shadows.

(C) Changes in the Process of Creation

Numerous pentiments of the position of the head and the entire figure show changes in intention. Frequent enlargement of the scale of the entire figure and the features of the face.

The Question of Attribution:

The preparatory drawing was clearly not the work of one master. Artistically exacting are the types given as I and HI, partly also IV. The participation of assistants is visible in type II.
In view of a possible division of labour, the author of the drawing may not have been identical to the man who did the painting. Further comparative material is being assembled in the course of the ongoing restoration work. The text contains only the basic thesis.


  author
Radana Hamsíková, AHVT A 039 (T.G.)





On Left – Fine drawing in diluted black paint; relatively short brush strokes, broader in the middle and sharply finished. A significant change in scale.

On Right – Sainte with a spring. Long and narrow lines with sharp ends, but perfunctory.



On Left – St Jerome. The change in the position of the head is remarkable: the original eye is placed more to the left; eye-wrinkles were sketched in the preparatory drawing.

On Right – Holy Knight. Preliminary drawing (a – eye-wrinkles, b – folds) in light grey strokes is only freely followed by the definitive drawing - some strokes are doubled.