JAIC 1999, Volume 38, Number 1, Article 7 (pp. 69 to 82)
JAIC online
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 1999, Volume 38, Number 1, Article 7 (pp. 69 to 82)

PAINT DRIERS DISCUSSED IN 19TH-CENTURY BRITISH OIL PAINTING MANUALS

LESLIE CARLYLE


ABSTRACT—Information on artists' oil paint driers was gathered from sources published in Britain from 1758 to 1900. The sources included oil painting instruction books, varnish or pigment manuals, compendiums of the arts, and encyclopedias and dictionaries on arts and manufactures. A number of American texts from the 19th century were included as well. In addition, a study was made of a series of ledgers from the British artists' colormen firm Roberson, which recorded the purchase of its supplies between 1828 and 1900. Included in the Roberson Archive was a limited selection of recipe books that also yielded useful information. Catalogs from the colormen firms of Winsor & Newton, Reeves, Rowney, and Roberson were studied to establish a correlation between oil painting instruction books and the materials available commercially throughout the 19th century. This article summarizes the information on artists' driers from these sources and explores the routes by which driers entered artists' materials, from commercially prepared products to those added on the palette at the time of painting. Paint film defects are frequently seen on paintings from this period. Thus it is hoped that this historical information will be useful when the role of paint driers is examined in relation to these film-formation defects.
[Spanish Abstract] [French Abstract]

Article Sections:

1. INTRODUCTION
2. DRIERS IN COMMERCIALLY PREPARED MATERIALS
3. ARTISTS' USE OF DRIERS
4. DRIERS: SUMMARY
5. CONCLUSIONS
a: Notes , References , Author Information
Entire Article

Copyright 1999 American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works