Beneath the Surface: The Making of Paintings

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9780711227569: Beneath the Surface: The Making of Paintings

It’s hard to look at masterworks by Giotto, Titian, Seurat, and other great painters and not wonder how they were created. This fascinating book reveals exactly that. Artist and conservator Philippa Abrahams describes the different methods, tools, and materials, then uses step-by-step demonstrations to illustrate each painter's craft. The frustrating, sometimes dangerous process of discovery, as artists from Michelangelo to Pollock have searched for new and better materials, gives readers a fresh appreciation of these great works of art.

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About the Author:

Trained at the Slade School of Fine Art and the Courtauld Institute of Art, Philippa Abrahams is an artist, conservator, museum education consultant and teacher, and an expert on historic art materials and painting and drawing techniques. She has contributed to several television and radio programmes, advising on techniques and materials and demonstrating the working methods of artists including Michelangelo, Titian, Seurat and Whistler. This is her first book. To visit Philippa Abrahams website click here


This refreshing book takes an entirely practical approach to appreciating great works of art from the past. The step-by-step explanations are frequently accompanied by skillful reconstructions, to help us engage in what it is to be an artist, making it a delight for artists and art-lovers alike. --Good Book Guide

[Phillipa Abrahams's] direct approach and her enthusiasm are infectious and make this a must-buy for any museum dealing with painting and drawing. --Museums Journal

Most of us at some point will have stood before a work of art in awe, wondering at the skill in its execution - the fineness of brush stroke, layering of paint or purity of line. The job of the art historian is to look more closely; few, however, take quite the hands-on approach of Philippa Abrahams. An artist and conservator, she constructs each stroke, layer or line in the interests of research, demonstrating changing materials, techniques and preoccupations in the history of art. The results are a delight to the artist and casual enthusiast alike - and the reconstruction of such works as a Michelangelo study or a Titan oil is surely forgery of the most harmless and educational kind. --House & Garden

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