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A detail of the bottom right corner during fill application and before toning with red-brown gouache paints.
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Date: 2014-06-10
Infrared light that falls with the 780-3000 nm range (near infrared) of the electromagnetic spectrum can be particularly useful for revealing preliminary sketches, underdrawings, or compositional changes that lie beneath visible paint layers. Areas that have been painted using a significant amount of carbon black readily absorb IR light (appearing black in the IR images) while other pigments, such as vermillion, are transparent. Using an IR camera equipped with an InGaAs detector, a team from Washington and Lee University's Chemistry Department generously devoted their time and equipment in an effort to acquire images of the painting. (Pictured here: Dr. Erich Uffelman, Dr. Anthony Lagalante, Dr. Amanda Norbutus, Sam Florescu, Alex Garcia, Ashley Ooms)<br/><br/><a href="http://www.artcons.udel.edu/about/kress/examination-techniques-and-scientific-terms/infrared-reflectography" target="_blank">More information on Infrared Reflectography can be found here</a>
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Date: 2014-06-13
King Saul's crown was higher and the contours of his mouth, beard, and face have been altered, and Abner's helmet was lower and embellished with a very large feather plume.
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Date: 2014-06-19
The IR reflectogram of King Saul revealed slight adjustments to the contours of the face, mouth, and beard. More prominent in the IR image is the original placement of the crown which was initially much larger and positioned higher up.
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Date: 2014-06-19
Abner, the head of King Saul's army, was originally adorned with a helmet possessing a prominent feather plume. The IR reflectogram also reveals that Abner's entire head was positioned much lower during the early painting stages and was shifted upwards.
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Date: 2014-06-19
In the preliminary composition, David was originally depicting grasping his sword by the blade and not by the handle. The ghostly form of the original hilt can be seen higher up on the blade. David's hands were also eventually repositioned.
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Date: 2014-06-25
On the left side of this IR reflectogram two small dark eyes are faintly visible, originating from the head of a small child. This figure was ultimately painted over during the final painting stages.
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Date: 2014-06-25
The IR reflectogram of the upper left corner revealed the pattern of folds in the drapery but more importantly the original shape of the weapon that is held by the standing soldier. Previous restorers misinterpreted the weapon to be a spear; however, the black outlines of a halberd, a combined spear and battle-ax. The IR image helped the conservation team during the retouching phase of the treatment to restore the shape of the original halberd.
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Date: 2014-06-25
The conservation team presented a poster on public outreach initiatives and interdisciplinary research relating to the project.
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Date: 2014-06-29
Began applying fills in losses along the original seam and the upper half of the painting
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Date: 2014-07-01