Israelites Oppressed, detail

Were the murals damaged? (continued)

Previous examinations assumed that invasive past restorations caused the thin or abraded paint surfaces. While it is likely that cleaning had caused some of the damage, Sargent’s technique also produced this same effect in many instances. In some passages, Sargent applied paint so thinly that the canvas was left partly visible. Close examination of the painted canvas protected by relief elements revealed this effect to be intentional, not necessarily the result of harsh cleaning.
Israelites Oppressed, detail showing apparent abrasion. The striped square at left has always been protected by a relief. It has the same thin appearance as the dark square to its right that was cleaned in 1953 (2003 photo)
The Triumph of Religion