The panel appears to have been prepared with a pale grey and then a very dark ground, on which the reds appears sultry and the white, luminous.
There are signs of an earlier pose, in which the head of a woman can be made out under the vertical brushstrokes of the background, above and to the right of the model's head.
It is painted thinly and boldly, with free brushstrokes of creamy-textured paint, and some broad, almost dry-brush strokes. In the white dress, each stroke is clearly outlined, the paint being thicker along the edges of each brushstroke.
An old photograph shows the picture as much lighter in colour but this is probably the result of over-exposure or lighting during the photographic process. There is some cracking and abrasion of paint around the edges.
1884: Large Dowdeswell, made for the 1884 exhibition [14.1 cm]. 1
Last updated: 31st December 2020 by Margaret