All images of this object © National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh

Alexander Ignatius Roche

The Old Fisherman / Ferryman

Oil on canvas, mid 1880s, 46 x 61 cm

National Galleries of Scotland

Alexander Roche (1861 – 1921) began his training at Glasgow School of Art. He later studied in Paris and joined the Scottish colony of artists at Grez-sur-Loing in the early 1880s. On his return to Scotland he joined with the Glasgow Boys. A trip to Italy in the early 1890s reinforced his taste for rustic subjects. He moved to Edinburgh in 1896 where his work drifted from landscapes to portraiture, travelling as far afield as the United States to carry out commissions.

before treatment, raking light right

after treatment, raking light right

This early work by Roche was carried out during his time in Grez-sur-Loing. In preparation for a new display at the Galleries, it required conservation initially for the significant distortions that had formed in the support. The affected areas were gently treated to gradually push back the distortions. They were kept under gentle pressure over an extended period to maximize the long-term effect of the treatment. Surface dirt was removed from the paint surface and the overall tension of the support was improved.

before treatment, raking light left

after treatment, raking light left