A detail of the painting as imaged in transmitted infrared light
Extremely yellowed and slightly opaque varnish layers were removed from the painting revealing a much more dynamic and vivid painting. Examination using near infrared light revealed that the artist originally began painting large trees, similar to the ones at left, across the right half of the painting, seemingly limiting the view of the lake to mere glimpses. For some reason, Cropsey then painted over the uncompleted trees, changing the composition of the painting to a more open view of the lake. As part of the examination, the earlier composition was documented with infrared imaging. As the paint aged, an extensive network of wide-aperture drying cracks appeared and pentimenti of the paint layer allowed the trees beneath to become more visible. During an earlier restoration, the entire right half of the sky was overpainted to obscure the disfiguring cracks and pentimenti. During this treatment, this layer of overpaint was removed revealing the artist’s final version of the sky with cracks and disturbing vestiges of the trees. The disfiguring cracks were properly inpainted and reversible glazes applied over the pentimenti of the trees to re-unify the image. Treatment has resulted in a much more vivid painting that reveals the artists original paint surface covering the trees. A much clearer understanding of the condition of this painting as well as the artist’s working methods has been gained.
Infrared detail taken using transmitted light of
Jasper F. Cropsey
Country Lane to Greenwood Lake
Collection of Shelburne Museum
This detail was taken from the upper right center of the painting, just above the distant hill.
These infrared images were taken using a Nikon D50 digital SLR with a B&W 093 IR filter on the lens.