vendredi 30 mai 2014

A History Of Botticelli Paintings

By Darren Hartley

Botticelli paintings revise traditional procedures to adopt recent innovations. They use tempera grassa, a medium in which the egg yolk was modified by the addition of oil to make the paint more transparent. Botticelli followed the methods that had been perfected in the previous century, showing the conservativeness in his approach.

Only the finest pigments of the era were used in Botticelli paintings. While the reds and greens were glazed in most instances, the pigments were applied in thin and opaque layers called scumbles. They acquired a compact density, in a gradual manner, as the painting built up. There was an extraordinarily luminous subtlety to them, created from their infinitely tonal gradations. This was particularly eminent in the painted areas representing reflected light.

It is unfortunate to note that most of the Botticelli paintings have lost the fullness of their beauty over the years. This loss can be attributable to the fact that colors have a tendency to change nature, to become more transparent, as the years passed on. A prime example is copper resinate, which turns from green to brown, in an irreversible chromatic change, an excessive contrast and a loss of luministic gradation.

The most refined among the elements of Botticelli paintings are their flesh tones. They were demonstrations of Botticelli's being a superb draughtsman, as evidenced by the tensile lines characterizing the figures in his paintings.

The skill with which the artist used chalk, pen, bistre and tempera are showcased in the Botticelli paintings. Botticelli's pioneering use of paper tinted with roses, violets, yellows and grays, led to the establishment of a middle value for figures.

Because the Dante illustrations were only executed in outline, they were considered unique Botticelli paintings. Supposedly to be infused with color, Botticelli never got to completing them. Of the 92 parchment sheets comprising the collection, some were not even started. They were initially scratched into the parchment, overdrawn with slate and ink, in preparation for their eventual filling with colored inks.

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