Synopses & Reviews
Sir Charles Eastlake, a former president of the British Royal Academy and director of the National Gallery, was one of the world's foremost experts on the techniques of painting. A painter of considerable renown himself, he devoted years to traveling throughout England and Europe, where he searched through museums, monasteries, universities, and libraries, gradually amassing a collection of rare manuscripts from which he was able to reconstruct the technical secrets of the great painters of the past.
In this comprehensive treasury (two volumes bound as one), Eastlake presents the results of his researches. He offers detailed discussions of Greek and Roman art methods, medieval techniques, tempera painting, the revolutionary use of oil paints by Hubert van Eyck, Flemish methods of preparing colors, and the methods of Reynolds and other 18th-century British masters. The second volume focuses on the technical secrets of members of various Italian schools, including such masters as Leonardo, Raphael, Perugino, Correggio, Andrea del Sarto, and many others. Rounding off the book are more than 100 pages of professional essays covering a wide range of subjects—from "Life in Inanimate Things" and "Neutral Tints in White and Other Draperies" to "Venetian Process" and "How to Compose and Paint a Single Head." Students, painters, art historians, and any lover of fine art will find Eastlake's work invaluable, both for its source material and its painstaking coverage of the technical evolution of painting.
Dover (2001) unabridged republication in one volume of the work originally published by Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans in two volumes in 1847 as Materials for a History of Oil Painting.
Greek and Roman art methods, medieval techniques, tempera painting, van Eyck's revolutionary use of oil paints, Flemish methods of preparing colors, methods of 18th-century British artists, and much more.
Table of Contents
CHAPTER I. Introduction - Connexion between the early History of Painting and that of Medicine
CHAPTER II. The Ancients
CHAPTER III. Earliest Practice of Oil Painting
CHAPTER IV. Oil Painting during the latter part of the Fourteenth Century
Note on a Venetian Manuscript in the British Museum
CHAPTER V. Practice of Painting generally during the Fourteenth Century
Note on a German Manuscript in the Public Library at Strassburg
CHAPTER VI. Fresco Painting and Wax Painting during the Fourteenth Century
Note on some early Specimens of English Art
CHAPTER VII. Vasari's Account of the Method of Oil Painting introduced by Van Eyck.
Note on the Introduction of Oil Painting into Italy
CHAPTER VIII. Examination of Vasari's Statements respecting the Invention of Van Eyck
CHAPTER IX. Oleo-Resinous Vehicles
CHAPTER X. Preparation of Oils
CHAPTER XI. Methods of the Flemish School considered generally
Note on the Modes of strengthening Panels by Ledges or Battens
CHAPTER XII. Preparation of Colours
"Note on the Use of Triptychs, &c."
Note on the Varnish prepared from the Olio d' Abezzo
CHAPTER XIII. Preparation of later Masters
Extracts from Notes by Sir Joshua Reynolds
Note on the Mayerne Manuscript in the British Museum
Additions and Corrections
Scriptural and historical Subjects painted in England during the Reign of Henry III.