Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to:

1.identify and evaluate the processes used in the manufacture and production of easel paintings;

2. identify the materials in easel paintings;

3. use traditional painting techniques


The module is principally for students of Art History or Museum and Gallery Studies though it will also be available to Fine Art students interested in the traditional materials, techniques, make up and conservation of oil paintings.

Brief description

The module provides an insight into how artists worked in the past. It examines the history and use of artists¿ materials including canvases, panels, pigments, media and varnishes. The techniques and materials of 14th-century panel paintings, 17th-century oil paintings and Impressionist paintings, in particular, are studied in detail. To provide an understanding of the make up of paintings, students prepare a copy of each using traditional materials and techniques.


Lecture material will include (each 1½ hours): The History of Pigments The Use of Supports The Development and Properties of Painting Media Studio Practice in 14th-century Italy Rembrandt and 17th-century Painting Techniques The Impressionists Practicals will cover (each 2 hours): Copy a 14th-century tempera and gilded panel (2 practicals) Copy a 17th-century oil painting on canvas (2 practicals) Copy a 19th-century Impressionist painting (2 practicals) + visit to the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff or Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

Reading List

Should Be Purchased
Hackney, S. et al. (2000) Paint and Purpose: Technique in British Art Tate Publications, London Primo search Thompson, D. V. (2000) Cennino Cennini: The Craftsman�s Handbook Dover (reprint) Primo search Thompson, D. V. (1956) The Materials and Techniques of Mediaeval Painting Dover (and subsequent reprints) Primo search
Recommended Text
Harley, R. D. (2001) Artists Pigments c.1600-1835 Archetype Primo search Roy, A. & Smith, P. (eds) Painting Techniques: History, Materials and Studio Practice Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 4