Saturday, August 6, 2022

Historical Notes on Art - Part II [1]
Art Resource

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Preamble
Today I have reached a milestone that I could not have envisaged when I wrote my very first post on 26 August of 2010. This is my 600th post that I have published since that time. On average, I publish approximately 50 posts annually on a weekly basis, with the precise number of posts in a given year depending on the duration of my Christmas - New Year break. Without the support of my family and the sources of information that I have used and referenced, which underwrote many of these posts, none of this could have been possible. I want to thank my followers and my readers for their feedback and messages of support.
Marie-Therese.


This is the thirteenth post in a new Art Resource series that specifically focuses on techniques used in creating artworks. For your convenience I have listed all the posts in this new series below:
Drawing Art
Painting Art - Part I
Painting Art - Part II
Painting Art - Part III
Painting Art - Part IV
Painting Art - Part V
Painting Art - Part VI
Home-Made Painting Art Materials
Quality in Ready-Made Artists' Supplies - Part I
Quality in Ready-Made Artists' Supplies - Part II
Quality in Ready-Made Artists' Supplies - Part III
Historical Notes on Art - Part I
Historical Notes on Art - Part II

There have been another one hundred and thirteen posts in a previous Art Resource series that have focused on the following topics:
(i) Units used in dyeing and printing of fabrics;
(ii) Occupational, health & safety issues in an art studio;
(iii) Color theories and color schemes;
(iv) Optical properties of fiber materials;
(v) General properties of fiber polymers and fibers - Part I to Part V;
(vi) Protein fibers;
(vii) Natural and man-made cellulosic fibers;
(viii) Fiber blends and melt spun fibers;
(ix) Fabric construction;
(x) Techniques and woven fibers;
(xi) Basic and figured weaves;
(xii) Pile, woven and knot pile fabrics;
(xiii) Nainkage, durable press and wash-wear finishes;
(xvi) Classification of dyes and dye blends;
(xv) The general theory of printing.

To access any of the above resources, please click on the following link - Units Used in Dyeing and Printing of Fabrics. This link will highlight all of the one hundred and thirteen posts in the previous a are eight data bases on this blogspot, namely, the Glossary of Cultural and Architectural Terms, Timelines of Fabrics, Dyes and Other Stuff, A Fashion Data Base, the Glossary of Colors, Dyes, Inks, Pigments and Resins, the Glossary of Fabrics, Fibers, Finishes, Garments and Yarns, Glossary of Art, Artists, Art Motifs and Art Movements, Glossary of Paper, Photography, Printing, Prints and Publication Terms and the Glossary of Scientific Terms. All data bases in the future will be updated from time-to-time.

If you find any post on this blog site useful, you can save it or copy and paste it into your own "Word" document for your future reference. For example, Safari allows you to save a post (e.g. click on "File", click on "Print" and release, click on "PDF" and then click on "Save As" and release - and a PDF should appear where you have stored it). Safari also allows you to mail a post to a friend (click on "File", and then point cursor to "Mail Contents On This Page" and release). Either way, this or other posts on this site may be a useful Art Resource for you.

The new Art Resource series will be the first post in each calendar month. Remember - these Art Resource posts span information that will be useful for a home hobbyist to that required by a final year University Fine-Art student and so undoubtedly, some parts of any Art Resource post may appear far too technical for your needs (skip those mind boggling parts) and in other parts, it may be too simplistic with respect to your level of knowledge (ditto the skip). The trade-off between these two extremes will mean that Art Resource posts will be hopefully useful in parts to most, but unfortunately may not be satisfying to all!


Historical Notes on Art - Part II [1]
Modern investigators have exhaustively studied all known sources and references to painting materials of the past - not only the more complete accounts, but also isolated references and clues in poetry, the Scriptures, and other non-technical writings.

Leon Battista Alberti (14 February 1406 – 25 April 1472).
He was an Italian Renaissance humanist author, artist, architect, poet, priest, linguist, philosopher, and cryptographer.

The development of art in general proceeded along distinctly separate channels in various countries, but was always governed by the culture, type of civilization and the availablity of raw materials, the choice of selection was strongly influenced by climatic conditions and the uses to which the works of art were put.

Australian Aboriginal Ochre Color Palette.

Egypt
The preservation of Egyptian relics because of the perfectly dry atmosphere of the country and the precautions taken to ensure the safety of mortuary deposits is well known, and students of Egyptian civilization have given us a very thorough understanding of painting methods employed. The history of these methods constitutes a remarkable record of the survival of the techniques, which remain essentially unchanged for a period of about 3000 years.

Ancient Egyptian Color Palette.
Although the art and culture of the Egyptian civilization underwent changes during this period, these changes occurred within fairly limited bounds, and the following two processes served from the date of the earliest existing specimens (about 4700 B.C.) down to the time of Ptolemies ( from 305 to 30 BC.)

The Book of the Dead from ancient Egypt wall murals.

The typical processes that these images were generated consisted of:
1. Mud-plaster walls decorated with a simple water-color paint.
2. Designs were engraved or cut in stone walls and gone over with water-color washes.

Minor, isolated examples of other variations have also been found.

Hieroglyphic carvings in ancient Egyptian Temple stock from ancient Egypt wall murals.

These murals make a cold, dull place seem attractive and interesting.



The precise nature of the binder in the Egyptian water-color is uncertain; gum, size, or some similar material was used, or perhaps all of them, and the colors were applied with crude fiber brushes. It is generally assumed that gum arabic was in greatest use. These water-color paintings on mud-plaster walls which have survived so well in the dry climate and sealed tombs of Egypt may be destroyed by passing a damp sponge across the surface. The work of the later periods was technically more refined, better and finer brushes and pigments were used, but the process remained the same. Lime-plaster was not used prior to the Roman influence.

Archaeologists soon discovered an amazing collection of mummy portraits in 1899. All these portraits looked extremely similar to each other. And these artworks are allegedly linked to their mummified remains. These paintings were done during the time the Romans held sway in Egypt about 2,000 years ago.


Reference:
[1] The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques, R. Mayer, (ed. E. Smith) 4th Edition, Faber and Faber, London (1981).