Late Medieval Panel Paintings Materials, Methods, Meanings
A publication to accompany the exhibition of panel paintings held in collaboration with Richard L. Feigen & Co, New York, 4 November 2011 - 27 January 2012.
This catalogue presents case studies of twenty-two late medieval panel paintings, many from the German-speaking regions of Europe, but also from Spain, France and the Southern Netherlands. These works, often fragments of larger altarpieces designed for liturgy or devotion, can be monumental and dramatic or small and intimate, but all on close examination prove to be rich in meaning - even if many are by painters who remain anonymous and most were made for precise contexts that are now hard to uncover.
The book considers first the physical history, original form, condition and technique of the paintings, using wood analysis and dendrochronology, paint samples, infra-red, x-rays and macro photography to document the materials and methods involved in their making and the alterations and transformations they have undergone. This new information is then combined with close readings of their imagery and its presentation, to explore issues of meaning, creative process, patronal intervention and artistic intention, leading in many cases to new reconstructions, attributions, dates and iconographic readings.
The text is extensively illustrated with series of images of all of the works, along with technical photographs and comparative material.
Susie Nash is a Professor in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute, London.