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Volterra, Porta Docciola

Wilfred Fairclough

Volterra, Porta Docciola, 1975

Watercolor on Paper


Wilfred Fairclough was a 20th century British watercolorist and printmaker. His style is heavily influenced by British artists J.M.W. Turner and Robert Austin. Fairclough’s early work features Italianate subjects and landscapes while his later work is primarily figurative, depicting performers with musical instruments set in Venetian architectural settings. Though he continued to produce new work until the end of his life, becoming particularly successful as an etcher, Fairclough also taught art at the Kensington School of Art for much of his later career.

Current Condition of the Artwork:

The watercolor painting is in good condition but the thin, primary, laid paper support is adhered around its back perimeter to a mat board. Mounting was apparently done after the painting was completed as no paint overlaps onto board. Although it is difficult to determine, approximately 1½” - 2” of the perimeter is adhered to the mount. The mounting technique is stretching and stressing the watercolor paper, and will be especially taut in lower humidity levels. The mount has an acidic core and a higher quality facing paper. The media is in good condition. There is a band of discoloration, or perhaps media, along the top edge. There is a vertical line of blue watercolor in the top right of the sky that is slightly distracting, but appears to be artist made.

Conservation Treatment Proposed: 

  • Remove watercolor paper from mount to eliminate stress from the stretched mounting system and so that paper does not remain in contact with the acidic mount. This treatment is made difficult by the thin paper and strength of adhesive attachment to the mount.
  • Humidify and flatten.
  • All materials used will be appropriate and conservation quality. All work will adhere to the highest standards of the field.

Estimated Cost of Treatment:  $1,500.00