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   2000 Years History of Encaustic  

The Rediscovery of the long lost Encaustic formula.

 

By ancient Greek and Roman authors, we know that all artists of their time used a paint media made out of beeswax called encaustic. And that it was used for painting on canvas, wood, on marble walls and statues. Pliny mentions that you could still see in old abandoned Greek temples, wall paintings that had been under the rain, winds, sun for 300 years and they look “like new”. Romans were big collectors of Greek paintings like Julius Cesar who had a big collection of “encaustics”. Today the best preserved encaustic paintings are the wall paintings of Pompeii in Italy. The encaustic’s formula was lost with the fall of the Roman empire.Efforts by Renaissance artists to recover it failed. The most important research was carried out by Leonardo Da Vinci. After a lot of experiments, he thought he found the formula and what he thought it was encaustic, he used for one of his most famous murals, “The battle of Anghiari” While he was painting it, the paint stared falling off from the wall and he had to abandon it.The Spanish artist Jose Cuni rediscovered the original encaustic formula. His sons Pedro Cuni and Jorge Cuni throughout scientific work carried out in the Smithsonian Instute in Washington D.C. and in Cooper Union for the Advancement of Art and Science, comparing 2,000 years old Roman samples of paint Jose’s Cuni formula, were identical. Making this one of the most important discoveries in Art History.

                         重拾遺失兩千年的古蠟彩神秘配方

 

根據希臘羅馬作家之古老文獻, 我們得知當時的藝術作品皆使用蜂蠟成分的媒材, 稱為[ 蠟彩]. 當時, 將蠟彩廣泛應用於畫布, 木板, 大理石牆面或是雕塑品. Pliny 曾指出即使是老舊被遺棄的希臘神廟, 經過300年的風吹雨淋日曬, 壁畫等裝飾品仍依舊如新. 羅馬當時是擁有最多希臘藝術品的收藏國家, 像是: Julius Cesar 就擁有龐大蠟彩收藏畫作. 如今, 羅馬龐貝城仍是擁有最多古老蠟彩壁畫遺跡的地方. 古代蠟彩配方隨著羅馬帝國的衰敗而遺失.

文藝復興時期, 許多藝術家嘗試找回遺失的配方, 但無一成功. 其中以 Leonardo Da Vinci 的研究最為重要, 隨著無數次的失敗經驗, 某天他以為她找到了正確的配方, 他以這個配方繪製他最著名的作品之一 “ The Battle of Anghiari”, 在繪製期間, 顏料卻紛紛從牆面上剝落, 因此他只好放棄這個作品.

直到西班牙藝術家José Cuni 真正重拾古代蠟彩的配方, 他的兒子 Pedro Cuni 與 Jorge Cuni 因為了證實這個配方, 一同專心致力於現代科學研究, 華盛頓 Smithsonian Institute 以及紐約Cooper Union 提供研究室以供他們研究, 並從各個知名博物館藏的兩千年古羅馬遺跡樣品分析成分, 證實配方的正確性.

這一項重大發現, 顛覆了已知的藝術史! 震驚整個藝術領域.

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