Alexander Roslin’s Self-portrait 1790 at Malmö Konstmuseum A study of Pigments and Painting Technological Construction
This Publication is an in-depth study of an oil painting by the Swedish artist Alexander Roslin (1718- 1793), the Selfportrait 1790, which belongs to the Malmö Konstmuseum in Sweden (inv. nr. MKM 891). Roslin was a very successful portrait painter producing portraits of members of the aristocracy and of many prominent individuals of the time. The aim of the investigation of the Self Portrain 1790 was to discover the materials, the technical construction and the painting techniques utilized in the portrait and to analyse these results in the painting’s historical context. The methodology used was ocular inspection supplemented by photographic documentation supplemented of raking light, macro/micro photographic documentation, IR- and UV-flourescense and reflectography, IRFC (Infrared false colour ) and UVFC (Ultraviolet false colour) techniques as well as X-ray documentation and Raman probe investigation. The archaic style of the painting, in reference to the year of its dating 1790, can define it as an anachronism. The investigation concluded that the painting was deliberately created as an artistic statement of adhering to older traditional academic conventions. The identified pigments on the painting were; prussian blue, cinnabar light, carmine, naples yellow light, a row of different ironoxides, probably even some umbers, lead white and one or more type-s of black (type wineblack, boneblack or similar ). The binding media was a drying oil, according to the historic references, likely some nut oil, for instance walnut oil. The Painting appeared to have been built up in a traditional three- step fashion over a traditional double ground (a red Ironoxide followed by a slightly thinner broken white layer of lead white, chalk , charcoal and probably a touch of some ironoxide.) It was also possible to detect fragments of a drawing with some form of charcoal in the painting. The study is presented in two parts where the second part consists mainly of photographic documentation with references and commentaries. Due to the lack of previous research in the field it was necessary to add a publication with a shorter summary of painting technique and painting materials of the historical period in which the artist was active (see Index in this Publication ).
Degree project for Master of Science (Two Year) in Conservation 30 hec Department of Conservation University of Gothenburg 2015:1
18th Century Painting Techniques