Thanks for the reply.
Yes I too noticed Petrie's comments regarding the whitewash.
He states that the whitewash and the red lines were applied during the building. Which is understandable. He also mentions "black lines" which do not appear to be there today.
First the whitewash issue. If the red marks had been applied in the quarry, would that not indicate that the whitewash had also been applied before the red lines, therefore also in the quarry. This seems rather odd to me?? The whitewash is clearly underneath the red lines.
Yes there are clearly creamy coloured marks over the red ochre.
Initially I put this down to "specular highlights" resulting from the photographic flash lighting. However I now feel that they may be abrasion marks indicating that the block was abraded post painting.
As for plaster and whitewash I'm guessing that whitewash was simply diluted plaster. I have had to largly ignore this as I cannot find any firm evidence for post Vyse repairs. I have seen repairs mentioned but nothing that can be proven.
What you are suggesting, in that someone had applied plaster over the red ochre marks, is what forgers call "distressing". In other words trying to make something look older than it really is.
It is a possibility but I'm not sure that the photographic evidence we have at this time can prove one way or the other.
It is a good point.
I also considered the idea of "cleaning" or abrasion of some sort of the whitewash to reveal the underlying rock colour. Question is how was this done without abrading away the red marks.??
So to sum up the above, it appears to me that the block was first installed, whitewashed. It was then cleaned or abraded, and finally the cartouche was added.
What happened where and when is yet to be determined.
So my view at present is that due to the lack of concise documentation regarding possible repairs and modern interference for whatever reason.
At this time it is impossible to determine the age of this artwork.
However that does not mean that it should not be questioned.
I will continue to question it.
If it were a valuable artwork I would highly recommend that it be subjected to proper forensic analyses.
I can't for the life of me understand why it hasn't been already...
There are a number of features that are clearly defined in the photos, which I believe are not the result of photographic aberrations, digital artifacts or manipulation.
For example in your photograph, if you look closely at the intersection of the cartouche frame and the reed. It is clear that the frame was painted after and partially overlapping the reed. We call this "modulation", where one brush stroke interferes with a preceding brush stroke.
The brush stroke which is effectively a "fingerprint" demonstrates that the frame was painted from bottom right to bottom left in one continuous mark/loop. This is hard evidence for the way in which the frame was painted.
Lastly I have been looking at, and among many other issues, the splashes to the lower left of the cartouche. I'd be interested in your opinion.
Please bear in mind that a splash has a very different signature to that of an applied dot.
And also I must apologise for not uploading images.I work in this field and it would be very unethical of me to use an image in any way unless I had written permission from the author.
Although you can.. And it is OK for me to comment on them.
Post Edited (10-Sep-14 12:46)