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Uccello’s 'Battle of San Romano'

Ashok Roy and Dillian Gordon
Technical Bulletin Volume 22, 2001


Technical examination was used to compare the three versions of the subject by Uccello.

The support was made from about eight planks, was modified in the 15th century, and has a very thick priming of two layers of anhydrite in glue with a thin layer of gypsum in egg tempera on top. Drawing, both freehand and with a straight edge, and incising were observed and, unusually, some incised lines were applied into the paint, while graphic lines of paint were used to reinforce the image.

Egg tempera was the main medium, with walnut oil added for green paint to give some gloss. Metal leaf application is discussed in detail. Different pigments were used for the corner additions, but analysis showed that they could still date from the 15th century.


artists' materials, egg tempera, painting techniques, panel paintings, Paolo Uccello

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Roy, A., Gordon, D. 'Uccello’s "Battle of San Romano"'. National Gallery Technical Bulletin Vol 22, pp 4–17.


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