Books on Oil Painting

General Comments:

Many books in current circulation contain bad information and bad advice about oil painting, i.e., no mention that zinc causes delamination.

Examples of incorrect claims to look out for:

  • that varnish resins were in the Old Masters’ paints; subsequent testing has shown to be untrue.
  • that damar and mastic were in 16th century oil paintings, and we know now that damar was not used or known in Europe until hundreds of years later.
  • that sunflower and safflower oils were acceptable binders for oil paints; we now know these could reliquify years later and weep in paintings thought to have been long dried.