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The Science of Paintings First Edition Edition

4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0387987224
ISBN-10: 0387987223
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In this respect the book by W Stanley Taft and James W Mayer is quite successful. Besides constituting a good and comprehensive introduction to the science of materials involved in a painting and to the processes through which a painting is made, which is of interest to those concerned with conservation and restoration of art objects, it is also an intriguing reading for everyone interested in gaining insight into the making of paintings and curious about the mechanisms of their perception by the viewer.

The book starts with a systematic analysis of the materials used for making a painting: The book is well written. Apart from some of the appendices (where, however, mathematics has been conveniently limited) all the technical stuff is well balanced throughout the text, and its reading is never boring. All scientists involved in the conservation and restoration of paintings, especially those needing an introduction to the physics behind these topics, will enjoy reading this book."

--Measurement Science and Technology

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; First Edition edition (August 28, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0387987223
  • ISBN-13: 978-0387987224
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #711,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A. Dill on October 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I am a painter and I wanted to know a little bit more about the science of the materials I use. This is why I got this book. Unfortunately, the book only goes into depth on the science of the perception of art (how light reacts to colors like primary and secondary colors). There are other chapters about the materials of various types of painting like oil, tempera, encaustic, but the author only skimmed over these details with very little scientific explanation. Also, the author wrote the book to a crowd of non-artists. He often wrote about artists in third person. This was bothersome since a large portion of the book was over elementary aspects of art- for example "What is Painting?" was one of the topics he went into depth on.

I did find out some interesting facts from the book like honey used to be used as a binder for paints, and that animal glue is in gesso. The chapter on how art historians detect fakes also was pretty interesting too. Beyond these little bits of information though, I found little useful information for my practice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr Harold Trimm on February 24, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a chemist and am starting a new course called "The chemistry of Art" in the fall for the liberal arts students. I found the book to be an excellent reference and starting point for what I want to teach in the course. My background is in analytical chemistry and forensics and I already have large number of students interested in taking the course when it starts next fall.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carla Salter on February 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a wonderful reference book for artists to have in their library! There are a lot of technical formulas and equations, but it does help artists to understand the Old Masters works.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Vanessa Maldonado on March 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I can't say that the class this book was for was very interesting or easy to understand. But at least I had this book to make this a bit easier by explaining things for me.
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The Science of Paintings
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