British Watercolour Cakes from the Eighteenth to the Early Twentieth Century

Ormsby, Bronwyn, Townsend, Joyce, Singer, Brian and Dean, John (2005) British Watercolour Cakes from the Eighteenth to the Early Twentieth Century. Studies in Conservation, 50. pp. 45-66. ISSN 0039-3630

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)


This article presents a historical and scientific investigation into commercially prepared British watercolour cakes from Londonbased artists’ colourmen Reeves, Rowney, Ackermann and Roberson, dating from before 1780 through to the early twentieth century. Analysis focused on the identification of the plant-gum binding medium via the use of gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and pigment identification via energy dispersive X-ray analysis (SEM-EDX) and polarized light microscopy. The historical context is provided by an investigation into the historical uses of plant gums in European art and the history of importation of plant gums into the United Kingdom. The analysis of watercolour cakes used by the British artist J.M.W. Turner offered further insight into the use of specific plant gums and gum mixtures by eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British painters.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: F100 Chemistry
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2014 15:12
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 17:30

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics