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Would like to show you some fun photos I took during Tuesday’s lecture! Have you ever seen “Girl With a Pearl Earring” and how the female protagonist grinds and prepares the pigments for the painter Vermeer? Basically, that is what we get to do in our Material Studies classes! (We are 45 people althogether doing History of Art, but we are only 13 doing Material Studies, which makes us a really small and tight group). We have been learning about egg tempera and various pre-1400 century painting techniques through lectures and trips to the National Gallery, and Tuesday we had a practical session where we got to get dirty and paint like they did in the medieval days! It was just like kindergarden!

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First we applied gesso to the wooden panel, let it dry, and then rendered it to create a smooth surface. This is me applying red bole to the areas that are to be gilded.

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Ugne and Joyce moistening the red bole, while Marie is getting ready to apply the gilding. (Yes, we used real gold leaves).

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Marie mixing the pigments with egg and applying the paint, while Ugne and Joyce are punching patterns into the gilding.

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Delicious delicious pigments!!

I tell you, when you get to see and experience how much work went into creating these pre-1400 century paintings in terms of preparation and execution, you really start appreciating them a whole lot more!

Now I am going to go to bed with a clear conscience. Spent seven hours reading about medieval architecture and various critical approaches to art history, in addition to doing  some research on JMW Turner and adding another 400 words to my upcoming essay. My brain is aching, but that is the charm of uni life I suppose.

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