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The Materials of the Artist and Their Use in Painting: With Notes on the Techniques of the Old Masters, Revised Edition Paperback – January 1, 1984


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Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Max Doerner (1870-1939) was a German painter, restorer and art theorist. Doerner studied in Munich at the Academy of Fine Arts and was a student of Johann Caspar Herterich and Wilhelm von Diez. His brushwork was equal to the impressionists as he sought his subjects especially in the countryside around the Ammersee. During his studies in Holland and Italy, he became familiar with the techniques of the old painting and studied especially the frescoes in Pompeii. His research has fundamentally changed the previous approach of restoration. When he published THE MATERIALS OF THE ARTIST AND THEIR USE IN PAINTING his techniques spread worldwide.In 1911, Doerner was a lecturer in painting at the Munich Academy, later in 1921 he was appointed professor. In 1937, the Munich plant Testing and Research Institute was founded, whose leadership he took over. This institute exists even today and is now named the Doerner Institute, which houses the Bavarian State Paintings Collections.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 435 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; Revised edition (January 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 015657716X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156577168
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #572,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer gracies mom VINE VOICE on June 5, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While most curriculums today in art schools will have the words conception underlined, there is a desparate need for the craft of painting to be taught. If you do not want to wait until craftsmanship comes back in style and are a painter, than you must have this book. If you are learning how to better understand the painters of yesterday; you must have this book. If you are curious as to how painters such as Vermeer etc could accomplish want they did, this book is for you. Though the language is sometimes formal the information is so fascinating and inclusive it makes for great and enjoyable reading; Painter or just admirer.
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118 of 131 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 26, 1998
Format: Paperback
Max Doerner lectured art students with the most accurate information ever compiled up to 1932. About 1900 there was a big change in the manufacturing of color, Max was the artist's protector. "Art has abandoned the sound principles of craftsmanship and is therefore lacking in a dependable foundation". Max Doerner 1931
1916, THEORY, The last color-wheel (square) of college record was by Church-Ostwald. It has Yellow, Red, Sea Green and Ult. Blue at the corners. It made way for the new coal-tar colors, all pigments were replaced by there top-tone matching colors. Naples Yellow, Rubins favorite, and artists favorite for two thousand years, was replaced by a mixture of Zinc and Ocher. Pigments were moving from the Iron Age to the Oil Age. Church-Ostwald had no regard for transparency/opacity, or raw pigment content. Only the final dried color. This is the way todays pigment manufactures make colors. Clearly, the artists interests are not at heart.
1886, COLOR,
THE FIRST AND LAST PUBLIC STANDARD OF PIGMENT COLORS FOR ARTISTS As noted by Max Doerner.
A. W, Keim, German. "Deutche Gesellschatf zur Forderung rationeller Malverfahren", The German Society for the Promotion of Rational Methods in Painting. They set up control for the pigments in colors found best by the artists, to guarantee the color's characteristics and ingredients. These are the colors deemed necessary by the artists; 1.White Lead, 2. Zinc White, 3. Cadmium Yellow Light, Medium and Orange. (Cadmium Red wasn't discovered until 1909), 4. Indian Yellow, 5. Naples Yellow Light and Dark, 6. Yellow to Brown, Natural and Burnt Ochers and Sienna, 7. Red Ocher, 8. Iron Oxide colors, 9. Graphite, 10. Alizarin Crimson, Madder Lake, 11. Vermilion, 12. Umbers, 13. Cobalt Blue, Native and Synthetic, 14.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Andrew on August 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
The language, as inaccurately mentioned in one of the previous reviews, is not that difficult at all. This is not a book for complete beginners, but definitely a must for anyone who considers himself serious as an artist. It provides a very detailed insight into the preparation of materials, the handling of paints and reveals numerous techniques, which were employed by the great masters (not only Renaissance and Baroque, but 18 and 19th century painters and some of the impressionists). There is a separate chapter dedicated entirely to the technique of the old masters. Though, the only drawback I find in this book is that it doesn't spend more time on any of the old masters in particular (it explains their technique quite superficially at times, and only touches the surface when it comes to some of them, so don't expect this book to be about the old masters' technique - it is about technique in general; "the proper way to paint" if you will, with numerous specific examples throughout on how different painters employed this or that method).
Overall it is a very good, informative and well-written book, I deeply recommend it!
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Maneki Neko on August 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
As a novice painter (hobbyist) with great admiration for the works of the Great Masters, I purchased this as a textbook to help me understand the great works as well as to learn proper technique. Given my "real world" schedule, it would be impossible to get to a proper art class, so this was to be a compromise. It is full of fascinating historical details, but the language used is often so cumbersome it's difficult to follow unless one has either a great deal of concentration, some prior experience with the subject under discussion, or both. The lack of illustrations is also a barrier to using this as a primary textbook. Mayer's book ("The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques") is written in a much clearer style and covers more modern materials as well as those of the greats. In sum, this is a very good book to have in one's library, but if you are looking for a primary text, use Mayer's instead.
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48 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Goodman on July 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
The reality is that I would have rated this book as a three had it not already been over rated. As an introduction into the techniques of old masters materials the book may serve as a means of basic knowledge. Admit tingly the book has other attributes but nothing so unique that there is a revealing of information that couldn't be found more complete and satisfied some where else.
Writing as a conservator I don't have the book right in front of me so I'll be general. First and foremost the book doesn't come close to rivaling Mayer's book. I say this because Mayer's book on materials and techniques is far more conclusive and also acknowledging different artists approach materials with certain attitudes. This is leading to my biggest complaint with Doerner's book.
Doerner approaches his subject much more subjectively and with out much flexibility. The real problem with this is that the author is suppose to be acting as a historian and instead lays down guild lines that he considers superior for contemporary artist. I discovered particular errors through out the book; an example is a pigment attributed to Rembrandts use that analysis hasn't found. Doerner also dismisses cotton canvass painting as a serious support while it has in fact been a popular support for four to five hundred years and has shown as much empathy and durability for good paint film as linen. In truth theses little fictions creep up here and there through out the whole book.
Mayer's book offers a much more accurate detail of the actual properties of materials and he isn't so subjective. Mayer's book also provides chemical information on pigments and the newest edition tells when each pigment was introduced.
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The Materials of the Artist and Their Use in Painting: With Notes on the Techniques of the Old Masters, Revised Edition
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