segunda-feira, 22 de janeiro de 2007

Materials for a history of oil painting

Uma das obras clássicas sobre a história das técnicas de pintura é da autoria de Charles Lock Eastlake (1793-1865), pintor e primeiro director da National Gallery, de Londres. Intitulada Materials for a history of oil painting, o primeiro volume foi publicado em 1847 e o segundo, postumamente, em 1869.

O segundo volume, incompleto em relação ao plano do autor, sob o título de Professional Essays, reúne um conjunto de pequenos textos de Eastlake que, até então, se encontravam inéditos.

A obra foi reditada em 1960 pelas Dover Publications sob o título de Methods and Materials of Painting of the Great Schools and Masters. Em 2001 os dois volumes foram reeditados num só, com cerca de mil páginas.

Do Prefácio:

The following work was undertaken with a view to promote the objects of the Commissioners on the Fine Arts. It professes to trace the recorded practice of oil painting from its invention; and, by a comparison of authentic traditions with existing works, to point out some of the causes of that durability for which the earlier examples of the art are remarkable. It was considered that such an inquiry, if desirable on general grounds, must be especially so at a time when the best efforts of our artists are required for the permanent decoration of a national edifice.

The want of a sufficiently extensive investigation of original authorities relating to the early practice of oil painting has led to various contradictory theories; and the uncertainty which has been the result has too often induced an impression that the excellence of art, in former ages, depended on some technical advantages which have been lost. It is the object of the present work to supply, as far as possible, the facts and authorities which have hitherto been wanting, so as to enable the reader to form a tolerably accurate notion respecting the origin and purpose of the methods described, and to estimate the influence of the early characteristics of the art even on its consummate practice. Whatever may be the value of the methods in question considered in themselves, a knowledge of them cannot fail to be, at least indirectly, useful. It is hoped that by substituting an approach to historical evidence for the vagueness of speculation, and by rendering it possible for modern professors to place themselves in the situation of their great predecessors in regard to merely technical circumstances, one source of interruption, if not of discouragement, in the study of the more essential qualities of art, will be removed. At the same time, the author trusts that details relating to the careful processes which were familiar in the best ages of painting will not lead the inexperienced to mistake the means for the end; but only teach them not to disdain even the mechanical operations which have contributed to confer durability on the productions of the greatest masters.

The author has, for the most part, confined himself to the description and explanation of the processes which were adopted at different times in certain schools, without entering into the discussion of their comparative merits. A mere collection of materials, though presented in due order, must, to a certain extent, assume an unconnected form: this will, perhaps, not be objected to by those who are chiefly desirous of verifying statements relating to practical details by documentary evidence. The minuter circumstances and descriptions adduced are to be regarded as connecting links in a chain of evidence which, especially when novel or when differing from received opinions, it was essential to fortify. As regards the interpretation of the various documents which have been brought together, the author has been careful, in all technical points, and indeed in all apparently questionable cases, to give the original passages together with his translations.

Índice do volume 1:

  • Introduction
  • The Ancients
  • Earliest Practice of Oil Painting
  • Oil Painting during the later part of the Fourteenth Century
  • Practice of Painting generally during the Fourteenth Century
  • Fresco Painting and Wax Painting during the Fourteenth Century
  • Vasari's Account of the Method of Oil Painting Introduced by Van Eyck
  • Examination of Vasari's Statements respecting the Invention of Van Eyck
  • Oleo-Resinous Vehicles
  • Preparation of Oils
  • Methods of the Flemish School considered generally
  • Preparation of Colours
  • Practice of Later Masters

Índice do volume 2:

  • Folco Portinari and his Descendants - Hospital of S. Maria Nuova - Ancient Florentine Academy of Painters - Antonello Da Messina - The Pollaiuoli
  • Recapitulation of Characteristics of early Flemish School - The Varnish of Tempera Pictures - Improvements by Van Eyck - Mixture of Varnish with Colour - Methods of Painting
  • Lorenzo di Credi - Leonardo da Vinci - Pietro Perugino - Francesco Francia
  • Raphael, Fra Bartolommeo, Mariotto Albertinelli, Ridolfo Ghirlandajo, Granacci, Bugiardini, Andrea del Sarto
  • Correggio
  • Venetian Methods
  • Professional Essays

Índice dos Professional Essays:

  • Colour, Light, Shade, Correggio, &c.
  • Necessity for Definitions
  • Negative Lights and Shades
  • Natural Harmonies
  • Natural Contrasts
  • Finish
  • Space
  • Effect
  • Chiaroscuro Preparations - Their Effect, Duly Managed, or Producing Depth and Richness
  • Chiaroscuro Preparations - Transparent Brown
  • Depth of Light Tints
  • Warm Shadows
  • Treatment of Green & Blue
  • Oiling Out
  • Vehicle for Shadows
  • Transparent Painting
  • Depth - Transparent Medium
  • Cool Lights on Red
  • Oil Painting
  • Macchia
  • Venetian Process
  • Bellini Thinned his Vehicle with Linseed Oil
  • Warm Outlines & Shadows
  • Neutral Tints in White and Other Draperies
  • Toning, To Mitigate Partial or General Crudeness
  • Texture - Contrast of Surface in Scumbling
  • Scumbling and Retouching
  • Crispness and Sharpness Before Toning
  • Glazing System
  • Life in Inanimate Things
  • Palette Knife
  • The Gem-like Quality
  • Facility of Execution
  • Remedies
  • How to Compose and Paint a Single Head
  • On Subjects for Painting
  • Means & End of Art

Os dois volumes estão livremente disponíveis na Internet, ainda que correspondam a diferentes edições. O 1.º está aqui e o 2.º aqui.