JAIC 1994, Volume 33, Number 3, Article 6 (pp. 307 to 313)
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Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 1994, Volume 33, Number 3, Article 6 (pp. 307 to 313)

SHORT COMMUNICATION A NOTE ON THE IMPRIMATURA IN TWO OF DOSSO DOSSI'S PAINTINGS

BARBARA H. BERRIE


ABSTRACT—The imprimatura in two paintings by Dosso Dossi (Ferrarese, ca. 1490–1542) were examined using scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive x-ray spectrometry. An assemblage of mineral species was found and identified, among them pyrite, dolomite, micaceous minerals, gypsum, and quartz. A high proportion of lead white was also found. The results of the analysis suggest that clay was used in the imprimatura mixture. A search of the literature on painting technique of the time yielded little evidence about the use of clay in the imprimatura layer, although it is discussed in Vasari in the 16th century.

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Copyright 1994 American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works