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Originally published 2018
Stephen Fry narrates this technical journey into a painting shrouded in mystery. Delve beneath the paint layers of “The Paston Treasure”, to discover how this unusual painting was made, and how it has changed over the last 350 years. Traditional and pioneering analytical techniques were used to reconstruct the experience of the artist, his painting materials, momentum, and interruptions that left major compositional changes hidden under the painted surface.
The unique quality of the painting’s composition and colour balance today are traced back to its making and the extraordinary interaction between painter and patron.
Produced by the Yale Center for British Art in association with Cultureshock, the making of this film was generously supported by the Dr. Lee MacCormick Edwards Charitable Foundation. Narration: Stephen Fry Musical Score: Griffin Brown (TC ’18) Image credit: Unknown artist (Dutch School), “The Paston Treasure” (detail), ca. 1663, oil on canvas, Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, Norwich, UK, courtesy of Norfolk Museums Service.