Joslin Hall Rare Books

Curious, Unusual, Interesting & Occasionally Useful Books of the 16th-20th Centuries exploring the skills, trades, lives and ways of other times...

 Thursday, December 14, 2017

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Cennini, Cennino & Merrifield, [Mary Philadelphia].
A Treatise on Painting, written by Cennino Cennini in the Year 1437 and first published in Italian in 1821, with an introduction and notes, by Signor Tambroni: containing practical directions for painting in Fresco, Secco, Oil, and Distemper, with the art of Gilding and Illuminating Manuscripts adopted by the Old Italian Masters. Translated by Mrs. Merrifield.

London Edward Lumley: 1844.

Cennini's "Trattato" is a remarkable and comprehensive technical manual to methods employed by 14th and 15th century Italian artists for tempera painting, early oil painting and gilding. This was the first English translation and was very popular and influential with artists and art enthusiasts of the period, although it had a number of deficiencies stemming from Mrs. Merrifield's lack of knowledge of tempera painting and also because the manuscript she was using lacked sixteen chapters. A year after publishing this translation she would publish a very important work on fresco technique. As important as Mrs. Merrifield's several books on art history were from a practical standpoint for the 19th century artist, among whom she was especially influential with the Pre-Raphaelites, "the main importance of her work lies in her development of the historical study of documents" (Ernstrom, Grove Dictionary of Art). The two chromolithographed title pages are also worthy of note, both executed in a style reminiscent of illuminated manuscripts. An important and noted Victorian art study.

Hardcover. 6.75"x10.5", xii + lxviii + 177 pages, plus 2 chromolithographed title pages and 9 lithographed outline plates. Rebound with a plain blue cloth spine and cream boards, leather and gilt spine label. New endpapers. Contents with light wear & soil and a few spots.

Inventory #: 31383
Price: $ 375.00      

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