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American Painters on Technique Vol 1: The Colonial Period to 1860 Hardcover – October 11, 2011
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"Written to be accessible to curators, art historians, and painters as well as conservators, it offers a procession of fascinating personalities woven into a cohesive narrative that intertwines with American history." —Fine Art Connoisseur
About the Author
Lance Mayer and Gay Myers work at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, Connecticut, and as independent conservators.
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Top Customer Reviews
The subject has been thoroughly researched and the footnotes are extensive. This is a Getty Publication.
What I found particularly interesting was the search for a magic elixir, an artist's talisman, a touchstone which would, somehow, enable one to paint as the revered Old Masters -- particularly Titian. The search for a better megilp and secret formulary, experiments which turned many painters of the time into backroom alchemists. The result was a misguided quest for something bestowed by time itself. The consequences of such experiments were often dire: fugitive colours, uncertain materials, flaking and delaminated pigments, additives such as asphaltum, mummy brown, waxes, heavy mastics, and toning effects which have considerably darkened over time leaving paintings murky, muddied and illegible. These experiments are not only a disaster to the various paintings produced, but to the conservator/restorer attempting to salvage the work from total ruin.
Interesting too was the historical rise of Benjamin West and his influence. I always felt the characters in his historical paintings all looked the same, so his influence at the time has always astounded me. Then there are the intrigues, the rivalries, formularies, the early colourmen and the wide range of pigments both good and bad. Also interesting were the Americans abroad, such as Mary Merrifield.Read more ›