Gilding and Illusion in the Paintings of Bernardino Fungai

David Bomford, Ashok Roy and Luke Syson
Technical Bulletin Volume 27, 2006

Abstract 

A National Gallery tondo on panel, The Virgin and Child with Cherubim, by the Sienese painter Bernardino Fungai, reveals an unusual decorative gilded design. The Virgin's cream and gold robe is constructed from sections of sgraffito work over water-gilding in the highlit areas, and a similar design involving just paint for the areas in relative shadow. The technique produces a notably three-dimensional quality in the drapery which would have been particularly striking in a candlelit church. This method appears unique to Fungai's work and is present also on his masterpiece, 'The Coronation of the Virgin', painted for the high altar of Santa Maria dei Servi in Siena. Comparison is made with the gilding techniques of other contemporary Sienese painters.

Keywords

Fungai, panel painting, sgraffito, Sienese painting, tondo, water-gilding

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Gilding and Illusion in the Paintings of Bernardino Fungai, David Bomford, Ashok Roy and Luke Syson (PDF 10.66MB)

 

To cite this article we suggest using

Bomford, D., Roy, A., Syson, L. 'Gilding and Illusion in the Paintings of Bernardino Fungai'. National Gallery Technical Bulletin Vol 27, 111–120.
http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/technical-bulletin/bomford_roy_syson2006


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