1988-1997: Illuminations

The classical education of Christine Arveil provided an intimate knowledge of the masters’ treaties. Their texts on binding agents, pigments, varnishes and treatments for painting supports (gesso, canvas, paper, velum) were systematically explored, as well as the extensive international correspondence that is preserved in special collections accross Paris. Comprehension of these texts could not be achieved through the literature alone. Though many of the treaties lay out precisely quantities and proportions for mediums, these proportions are moot in the contemporary world: materials have altered, chemical properties and standards of measure are not comparable to those indicated in the early texts. The effective comprehension of the masters’ texts required a systematic experiential process, where each stage, proportion, combination was recorded. Comparison of the final contemporary product was made through direct apposition with original works held in Paris. The notebooks currently held by Christine Arveil constitutes a unique resource that leaves aside incorrect awe of the original texts for an actual exploration of those treaties, with modern samples and proportions.

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