Israelites Oppressed, detail

Underdrawing versus final image

IR images helped conservators observe changes that the artist may have made during the painting process. The IR image of this detail from Israelites Oppressed shows that Sargent’s graphite drawing of the leg was slightly larger than the version he painted over it. He also shifted the painted leg about one centimeter down from its drawn position, as is evident at the ankle and kneecap. Sargent modified the texture of the dark-purple drapery behind the ankle, from the drawn, vertical pattern to a painted, diagonal one.
1. Israelites Oppressed, visible light,
detail of the Assyrian king’s leg
2. The same detail in IR radiation; note how the fine lines of the graphite underdrawing become visible
(2003 images)
The Triumph of Religion