While Symonds’ comment on paint boxes remain unique, many treatises contained information on brushes, as Harley has shown in her excellent article, which provides good illustrations of the brushes used.(20) Although several writers, such as Armenini,(21) described how to make brushes these were usually bought, possibly from those shops or “botteghe” selling assorted lengths of canvas described by Symonds.(22) Brushes fell into two categories: bristle ones made from hogs’ hair (“setola”), and those made from finer hair, like the polecat (“puzzola”), miniver (“vaio”) and badger brushes (“tasso”). These were all listed by Symonds.(23) The hair usually fitted into a quill in which was inserted a handle of bone or wood. Symonds’ observations are of particular value because he described exactly how Canini employed each type of brush. Each type of brush will be examined in turn, starting with the bristle brush.

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