cennini

Historical Materials & Techniques of Painting in the 15th – 18th Centuries

Tuesday 23rd March 2021

Lecturer: CHANTEL BROTHERTON-RATCLIFFE

The 14th century artist Cennino Cennini recommended using “the chicken bones that you will find under the dining table” for making charcoaled bone black to paint with. His treatise, The Artists’ Handbook, gives us an understanding of some of the surprising materials which any artist had to master before he could begin to paint, such as the tail of a squirrel to make his paintbrushes. But many of these materials were difficult to use and have an effect on the finished look of paintings from the centuries before industrial processes changed the artist’s world. This lecture will explain the techniques and the reasons for some of the features of 15th and 16th century paintings which may seem odd to our modern eyes. I will bring examples of the materials mentioned in the talk to pass round and discuss with participants.