Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza Bank of America - Merril Lynch
The chemical analyses conducted prior to restoration aim to precisely identify the painting’s original and added materials and determine its present condition. The micro-samples analyses reveal the composition and distribution of the substances used by the artist in each layer, from ground to varnish.

In this case, we have determined that the painting´s varnish is a synthetic ketone resin. Following this information, we conducted solubility tests to come up with an effective cleaning system that would allow us to remove the varnish without compromising the work’s material composition.

The painting was created on a layer of dark brown or black primer made of mineral charcoal black, gypsum, traces from the painter’s palette and linseed oil.

In some areas, Tintoretto created an underdrawing on the dark ground using white or red brushstrokes in which the primary pigments were white lead and red earth. He sometimes applied a second layer of dark ground in order to redo the drawing as he progressed.

The artist covered the drawing with numerous coats of oil paint rich in high-quality pigments and blended with additives such as gypsum, ground glass and calcium carbonate. The final tones are blends of pigments with which Tintoretto was able to achieve surprising nuances in some cases and softly iridescent in others.
Cross-section of the micro-sample taken from a green cloth.
Scanning electron microscope image.