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Medieval and Renaissance Treatises on the Arts of Painting: Original Texts with English Translations (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) Paperback – 28 Mar 2003
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This two volume work on the technology of medieval and renaissance oil painting reproduces manuscript collections on painting and related arts from the 12th century through to the 17th century.'
From the Back Cover
Since its original publication in 1849, Mrs. Merrifield's two-volume work on the technology of medieval and Renaissance oil painting has been one of the foremost among a scarce handful of valued reference books dealing with the subject. The work reprints (with the original language version and its English translation on facing pages) manuscript collections on painting and related arts dating roughly from the twelfth through seventeenth centuries.
The manuscripts describe oil painting practices in several Italian cities, and in France and Brussels. Most of them are recipe books, revealing the artists' methods of making, purifying, grinding, and dissolving many different kinds of pigments; of preparing wood and cloth for painting; of making inks, dyes, and glues; and much more. Although oil painting receives the primary emphasis, the treatises also cover the processes involved in making miniature paintings, mosaics, and paintings on glass, as well as those entailed in the crafts of gilding, glazing, cutting precious stones, and many others.
In addition to a preliminary commentary on each treatise, the author supplies an excellent introduction of almost 300 pages, in which she discusses the significant material referred to in the "recipes" and offers illuminating insights into the social history and artistic practices of the periods covered by the treatises. Also here for their comparative interest are several conversations Mrs. Merrifield held with eminent Italian art restorers, along with an introduction and a very helpful glossary defining technical terms used in the text. This latter material was prepared by S. M. Alexander of the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.
Dover (1999) unabridged republication in one volume of the first (1849) edition.