This painting is owned by a private collector

The authenticity of this painting was in doubt until Valentine worked on it.

Previous restoration had obscured the quality of the work. The old retouching was removed and then re-restored allowing experts to accept this as a missing version of the work by Reynolds.


The cross-sections below are taken from a tiny flake of paint adjacent to a damage in the original paint. It is the embedded in a resin and the cut to reveal the layer structure in the paint. The sample is approx. .25mm in size. (This is difficult to see with the naked eye.) The cross-section below shows the previous restorer’s paint sitting above a varnish which remained in the hollows created by individual brush strokes. The surface had at this stage been partially cleaned.

Cross-section showing varnish layer

A further cross-section shows there are two layers of varnish here. This is not clearly seen in ordinary light however, when viewing this cross section under ultra-violet light, this becomes very clear. The translucent brownish layer on top of the paint in the left image appears to be one layer but in the uv image on the right it fluoresces whitish in colour and there is a distinct layer differentiation within this layer.

Cross-section Cross-section showing varnish layer under UV