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Man in a Blue Shirt

Julius Bloch

Man in a Blue Shirt, 1945

Oil on Canvas


Gift from the Estate of Julius Bloch 

Julius Bloch was a Jewish, German-born artist who established himself in Philadelphia. A long-time professor at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Bloch emphasized a need to know life in order to depict it in art. His work is typically classified as social realism, depicting the plight of the poor and oppressed. Bloch is particularly well-known for depicting the emotional strains of the working class and received national attention for his work during the Great Depression. 

Condition of the Artwork (2009): 

There are large water stains running down the reverse of the canvas, and along the bottom stretcher bar. There is tented paint and flaking in a 3”w, vertical band of paint that runs from top to bottom, thru the right background, and into his shirt. There is a thin horizontal line of flaking paint running thru his forehead; this flaking is occurring where the name Fields was underlined on the reverse. There is more tenting paint along the leftmost side of his head. There is another diagonal line of flaking in his chest. There are several chips/gouges in the paint layer along the left edge, probably from framing. Ultra violet light reveals old repaint blotches on the leftmost side of his face and neck, above the rightmost shoulder, and in his chest. 

Conservation Treatment Proposed: 

  • Locally consolidate insecure paint with a conservation quality adhesive.
  • Some tenting of paint may remain after treatment.
  • Remove/reduce grime layer with the appropriate cleaning agents.
  • Remove/reduce varnish layer with the appropriate cleaning agents.
  • Possibly remove/reduce repaints with the appropriate cleaning agents.
  • Apply an isolating layer of a conservation quality varnish.
  • Fill and inpaint paint losses with conservation quality materials.
  • Apply a conservation quality finishing varnish overall.
  • All materials used will be appropriate and conservation quality. All work will adhere to the highest standards of the field.

Estimated Cost of Treatment:  $2,875.00