Carpentry

The Madonna and Child was pieced together from three planks of poplar, reinforced with wood dowels placed across the joins before the planks were glued. As the three panels comprising the Madonna and Child were not of equal thickness, it became necessary to even out the back with a woodworking tool. In this instance an adze - a type of hatchet with a curved blade - was used, as shown in a 19th century engraving of a 14th century fresco in Pisa. This tool, similar to one in a local collection, left distinctive scallop marks in the wood. The blade also had nicks in it, and these left a distinctive "fingerprint" of parallel ridges, as shown in the raking light photograph below.