In Italy between 1270 and 1370 the whole tradition of European painting underwent a radical and enduring change of direction. This attractive and unusual study of Italian painted panels of the Early Renaissance examines the materials with which this transformation was effected and demonstrates how modern technology has increased our understanding of medieval panel painting.
The Italian Schools before 1400 surveys the primarily religious function of these works and the professional context in which the religious artists worked. They provide explanations of the construction of panels and the preparation of wood for painting and of the preparation and application of gold leaf. The substantial sections on pigments and colour represent original research done at the Gallery that has enabled the writers to provide the first comprehensive survey of how paints were prepared, mixed, and applied.
This edition of Martin Davies's work, revised by Dillian Gordon, incorporates the advances made in the study of Trecento painting, involving new attributions, the reconstruction of the original appearance of altarpieces, and information on patronage, original location and iconography.
Taking account of the results of technical investigation by the National Gallery's Scientific and Conservation Departments after the cleaning of some of the paintings, each painting in The Italian Schools before 1400 is illustrated in black and white, and there are reconstructions of altarpieces of which National Gallery panels were originally a part.