The Painter's Trade in the Seventeenth Century: Theory and Practice

Jo Kirby
Technical Bulletin Volume 20, 1999

Abstract

The training of artists such as Rubens and Van Dyck is detailed, and the working conditions of such 'foreigners' in London are explored. Artists' manuals, notably that of de Mayerne, as well as legal and commercial documents, can be used to find information on the materials and techniques used by artists in the 17th century and on their studio practice, all of which are discussed here in detail.

Supports, preparatory layers, drawings and other preparation, pigments, and media are discussed, along with their handling properties. Van Dyck's and Rubens's palettes are compared, regarding the contents and developments over their lifetime. Their adaptations of working methods to the needs of studio output are also mentioned.

Keywords 

Anthony van Dyck, artists' materials, painters (artists), painting techniques, Peter Paul Rubens, primary source documents

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To cite this article we suggest using

Kirby, J. 'The Painter's Trade in the Seventeenth Century: Theory and Practice'. National Gallery Technical Bulletin Vol 20, pp 5–49.
http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/technical-bulletin/kirby1999


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