The Materials of the Artist and Their Use in Painting, With Notes on the Techniques of the Old Masters, by Max Doerner

Ebook The Materials of the Artist and Their Use in Painting, With Notes on the Techniques of the Old Masters, by Max Doerner

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The Materials of the Artist and Their Use in Painting, With Notes on the Techniques of the Old Masters, by Max Doerner

The Materials of the Artist and Their Use in Painting, With Notes on the Techniques of the Old Masters, by Max Doerner

The Materials of the Artist and Their Use in Painting, With Notes on the Techniques of the Old Masters, by Max Doerner

Ebook The Materials of the Artist and Their Use in Painting, With Notes on the Techniques of the Old Masters, by Max Doerner

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The Materials of the Artist and Their Use in Painting, With Notes on the Techniques of the Old Masters, by Max Doerner

Dust jacket notes: “The most valuable book in existence on the craft of painting, this represents the results of twenty-five years of teaching and practical experience. It has steadily built up a reputation over the years (it first appeared in translation in 1934), and has become the accepted authority on questions of technique and materials. This edition contains revisions and corrections by the translator, Dr. Eugen Neuhaus, Professor of Arts, Emeritus, in the University of California at Berkeley. An appendix for those unfamiliar with the metric system lists by chapter, page, and line the American equivalents of the measurements used in the text. With eight illustrations.”

  • Sales Rank: #2278838 in Books
  • Published on: 1949
  • Ingredients: Example Ingredients
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 435 pages

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
A Classic
By Napa Artist
This book first came out in the 1930s and presents the prevailing methodology of artist’s materials of that era. The book contains no illustrations and is meant to be read, not looked at. The information presented in this volume is both specific and broad, and certainly for the patient reader who takes time to study what it has to say, the book will yield much fruit. This volume contains a wealth of information and together with Ralph Mayer’s “The Artist’s Handbook” and Charles Eastlake’s “Methods and Materials of Painting of the Great Schools and Masters” presents a comprehensive and thoughtful overview of traditional art materials and how these were handled during the past four centuries. I highly recommend it.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
For the classical artist
By ArtsyTara75
A very useful book. I like it more than “The Painter’s Handbook” by Mark David Gottsegen. Max Doerner gives the artist insight into how the old masters prepared their canvases and the materials they used. “The Materials Of The Artist” is for the classically trained artist. For instance, he mentions the use of Champagne (or French) chalk as the best in the making of gesso. As for making paints he discusses the use of pigments, that although often toxic yield beautiful colors if prepared carefully.

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful.
Excellent but might not be the whole story
By Brian Asquith
Max Doerner (1870-1939) taught at Academy of Fine Arts in Munich for 25+ years, and in his day an major expert on painting techniques. This book has played a major role in art history and research since the first day it was published. Do note the book was first published in 1934, and then translated from German, hence the writing style can be somewhat turbid. Perseverance pays with there being more information in here than you can shake a stick at.

My comment about being careful is a result of recent studies of old master paintings. The old masters would typically have a team of apprentices working alongside them, mixing paint, painting parts of the painting that the master was probably too bored to bother with (as well as good training for the apprentice) etc. The Master/Apprentice setup allowed for a continuous stream of knowledge being passed along the generations. However as oil paint technology advanced, in particular the ability to buy premixed paints off the shelf, the painter no longer needed a team of apprentices. He could pretty much get by on his own. Hence there was no longer anyone for the painter to pass on his knowledge to. This resulted in a considerable amount of technical knowledge being lost. (A good example is the recent theory promulgated by David Hockney that the old masters were able to paint such realistic paintings as they used rudimentary projection techniques to place a guide image on the canvas, overwhich they painted. No one knows if he is right or wrong).

From the 1800’s on, technical experts such as Doerner and Charles Eastlake (“Methods and Materials of Painting”) began to impart their wisdom on how the old master paintings were created. But the techniques thay had available were very rudimentary, more often than not being a case of the expert trying to reproduce a certain style and looking at the painting surface close up. The experts proferred their theories and techniques, often with much aplomb leaving no room for doubt. Unfortunately they were often quite off the mark – they could emulate a style somewhat but never 100%. There are too many variables involved even for a discerning eye. It has only been with recent advances in scientific analysis, usually chemistry based, that a truer understanding of the old master technique is finally being determined. Van Wettering’s excellent “Rembrandt – the painter at work” book details the findings of extensive research carried out on a number of paintings considered to have been painted by Rembrandt. The book is 340 pages, and they still haven’t got all the answers. But what they have done is to throw in to doubt the theories and techniques of the 19th/20th C experts.

There is a welter of information in this book, but if you are trying to perfectly replicate a certain old master painterly technique, and failing to do so, then be warned the experts might not be such experts afterall.

All said and done, I do recommend this book for the wealth of information it contains. Along with oil painting it addresses pastels, tempera and mural techniques. Even if you do take the techniques in here as verbatim for an old master then there is all likelihood that you’ll create a great painting.

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