Sources on Art Technology

Sources on art technology can be understood as any material surviving from the past that provides us with information about the history of the materials, tools and techniques used to make works of art—ranging from the work of art itself to realia, images, texts and audio-visual sources. Examples of art technological sources in written form include recipe collections, books of secrets (particular genre of technical and medicinal recipes and magic formulae), contracts and other legal documents, artists’ correspondence and diaries, guild regulations, technical manuals and artists’ handbooks.

These texts contain a wealth of information about the artistic materials and techniques thought to create long-lasting art objects and on the ideas about durability of the patrons and institutions that shaped artistic production, which has never been the subject of systematic study. DURARE  mines the wealth of critical and or digital editions of sources on art technology, and the repositories that include them. To systematically examine how they discuss durability in art; as an artistic problem of materials and techniques, as well as a concern of its future owner. In addition, the project mines natural history treatises and those on historical chemistry (including alchemy) to examine in what cases artisanal practice influenced knowledge practices.