Cross-section Analysis Before Treatment: Visible Light Illumination

To inform our treatment, we took microscopic samples from the surface of both paintings prior to treatment. The samples were mounted in a polyester resin, and polished in cross-section to provide a clear view of their layered structure. The cross-section seen here under visible light came from the background of William James. The ground layer (at the bottom) consists of a tinted chalk-based primer and was the first layer Hogarth applied to prepare the canvas for painting. The next layer is a light gray base coat that Hogarth preferred to use. The design layers are the last two paint layers applied in the sequence. The uppermost layers consist of several layers of varnish.  

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