The Alchemy of Paint

Subject: Lectures
Dates: 24 January 2018
Time: 19:00 - 20:30
Location: The Prince's School of Traditional Arts
Tutor: Spike Bucklow
Full price

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£ 7
Student concession

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£ 5
OAP concession

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£ 5

This lecture is fully booked. A limited number of tickets may be available at the door, if there are no shows. These will be sold on a first come first served basis.

The lecture will review the European medieval mythology of lapis lazuli, featuring its geographical origins in Afghanistan and connections with Prester John's legendary kingdom. It also considers its heavenly geological description by Albertus Magnus.

It takes this intellectual context as the assumed knowledge that lies behind a fourteenth-century artists' recipe for converting the stone into the most prestigious pigment on the painters' palette, worth its weight in gold. The process itself is an exemplary demonstration of the behaviour of the Aristotelean four elements which, although not explicitly acknowledged, account for variations in recipe variations over a millennium.


Tutor biography

Spike Bucklow

Spike Bucklow teaches a postgraduate course in the conservation of paintings and is Reader in Material Culture at the University of Cambridge. He is a member of the Temenos Academy and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. Recent publications include 'The Alchemy of Paint' (2009), 'The Riddle of the Image' (2014 and 2015 winner of the ACE Mercer International Book Award) and 'Red' (2016). His 'The Anatomy of Riches' will be published by Reaktion in February, 2018.