Notebook, 1993-

Eastlake's Methods and Materials of Painting of the Great Schools and Masters

Eastlake, Sir Charles Lock [One-time President of the Royal Academy], Methods and Materials of Painting of the Great Schools and Masters [Formerly titled: Materials for a History of Oil Painting]. Vol. One. New York; Dover Publications, Inc. 1960 [Originally published by Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans in 1847]

Professional Essays - Venetian Process

The Venetian process was divided into the blotting of the masses, solid painting, sharp touching, [colpeggiare ], scumbling, and glazing. The chief requisite in this system--indeed in oil painting generally--is to restrict the touch to solid painting or to minute shadows, and never to show a small handling in scumbling, that is, when the paint is thin. Minute work with solid paint soon cures itself; the touch soon becomes bold and varied, but it is not so easily avoided with thin paint. Such thin scumbling should always be swept in masses, otherwise it will degenerate to stippling. [See pictures by Buonvicino (Moretto) as an example of the touch--small yet solid, sparkling and vivid.]

The bright minute touches of an unglazed Venetian picture must have appeared quite raw, and almost snow tipped--glazing was indispensable to lower and harmonize the work. Looking, however, to such a final process, the bright touches might [p. 357] be most sparkling. It is a mistake to aim at this harmony too soon; the attempt leads to want of vigour in handling, want of light, and ultimate flatness and dullness. Boschini observes that Titian's pictures were gemmed all over during the work; and no doubt just before they were completed by glazing. [pp. 357-3578]



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