Translator: Mrs. Mary P. Merrifield
Publisher: Dover Publications, New York, 1999
Size:135 x 215 mm (5.375 x 8.5 in.); 1280 pages, Paperback.
Since its original publication in 1849, Mrs. Merrifield's two-volume work on the technology of medieval and Renaissance oil painting has been one of the foremost among a scarce handful of valued reference books dealing with the subject. The work reprints (with the original language version and its English translation on facing pages) manuscript collections on painting and related arts dating roughly from the 12th through the 17th centuries.
The manuscript describe oil painting practices in several Italian cities, and in France and Brussels. Most of them are recipe books, revealing the artists' methods of making purifying, grinding, and dissolving many different kinds of pigments; of preparing wood and cloth for painting; of making inks, dyes, and glues; and much more. Although oil painting receives the primary emphasis, the treatises also cover the processes involved in making miniature paintings, mosaics, and paintings on glass, as well as what is entailed in the craft of gilding, glazing, cutting precious stones, and many others.