Mediaeval Painters' Materials and Techniques: The Montpellier Liber diversarum arcium

Mark Clarke

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ISBN: 9781904982647
Binding: Paperback
Dimensions: 246 x 175 mm
Pages: 365
Illustrations: 22 colour, 3 halftone

The anonymous Montpellier Liber diversarum arcium (‘Book of Various Arts’) contains the most complete set of instructions in the craft of medieval painting to have survived to the present day. Its comprehensive summary of the state of the art of painting in the workshops of the fourteenth century will be of great interest to art historians, conservators and historians of artists’ technology.

This long-overlooked manuscript provides a complete practical painting course: drawing, water-based tempera, oil and fresco. It includes painting on manuscripts, panels, sculptures and walls, but also painting on glass and ceramics. Instructions are given for the preparation of materials such as pigments and media, and also for their application and modelling, as well as for gilding and other useful techniques.

The range of knowledge displayed is remarkable with nearly six hundred recipes, two-thirds of which are unique to this manuscript. Furthermore it demonstrates that when the van Eycks and their contemporaries transformed painting in the fifteenth century, they did so using materials and techniques of oil painting that already existed.

This volume contains the first ever published translation of the Liber diversarum arcium together with an extensive technical and historical commentary.

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Reviews publicación del Mediaeval Painters' Materials and Techniques: The Montpellier Liber diversarum arcium de Mark Clarke explora al máximo los posibles enfoques (históricos, artísticos, técnicos, estéticos, lingüísticos) de un tratado de tecnología artística y estoy seguro que pronto se convertirá en una referencia obligatoria a la hora de tratar estos textos como una fuente para la historia del arte y disciplinas afines.
Revista de História da Arte W(1) (2011) 267-269

Il s’agit, à n’en plus douter, d’un témoin précieux dans l’histoire de la peinture à l’huile et d’un guide incontournable pour l’étude des techniques artistiques anciennes.
Bulletin Codicologique 2 (2011) 151-152