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Analyses of Paint Media

Raymond White, Jennifer Pilc and Jo Kirby
Technical Bulletin Volume 19, 1998


A lengthy essay discusses the implications of the analyses tabulated by period, for Italian, Dutch, French, Spanish, German, and British schools. The first three tables cover many paintings and artists; the last three tables are briefer. The essay includes sections on Italian school, Dutch school, and 19th-century French paintings, and in each section analyses are related to the handling properties of the paint that would result from composition or heat treatment, and to relevant documentary sources.

The use of pine resin, gum in ink for the underdrawing, and an early sandarac varnish are discussed for the Italian school; the use of linseed oil, heat-bodied linseed oil, and occasionally walnut oil for the Dutch school; and the modification of oil paint for use outdoors and/or in collapsible tubes, along with the addition of varnish or lead- and manganese-based driers by the artist, and the presence of poppyseed oil for the French school.


binder (material), paintings

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White, R., Pilc, J., Kirby, J. 'Analyses of Paint Media'. National Gallery Technical Bulletin Vol 19, pp 74–95.

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