Lionardo da Vinci

Artists Materials

Artists' Materials 

'Amber is the latex of the cypress tree! 

Since walnuts are covered with a certain thin skin which derives its nature from the husk, unless you peel this off when you are making the oil this husk will tinge the oil, and when you use it in your work the husk becomes separated from the oil and comes to the surface of the picture, and this is what causes it to change. c.a. 4 v. b 

TO MAKE RED ON GLASS FOR FLESH COLOUR 

Take rubies of Rocca Nera or garnets and mix with lattimo, 1 also Armenian bole is good in part. Tr. 71 a 

Sap of spurge and milk of the fig tree as a dissolvent, h 65 [17] r. 

You will make good ochre if you employ the same method that one uses to make white lead. h 94 [46] v. 

 

VARNISH 

Take cypress [oil] and distil it, and have a large jug and put the distilled essence in it with so much water as to make it the colour of nmber, and cover it over well so that it does not evaporate; and when it has dissolved add in this jug of the said essence so that it shall be as liquid as you desire. And you must know that the amber is the latex of the cypress tree. 

And since varnish is the gum of juniper, if you distil the juniper *he said varnish can be dissolved in this essence in the manner spoken of above. Forster 1 43 r. 

Tap a juniper tree and water its roots, and mix the latex that exudes 1 Lattimo, a substance which has /he colour of milk, used by glaziers. Neri Art. Vetr. /Fanfani). with oil of walnut and you will have perfect varnish made with varnish, and this same you will make from the cypress, and you will 
then have varnish of the colour of amber, beautiful and famous for its quality. Make it in May or April. Forster i 44 v. 

 

TO MAKE POINTS FOR COLOURING IN SECCO 

Temper with a little wax and it will not flake. And this wax should be dissolved with water, so that after the white lead has been mixed this water having been distilled may pass away in steam and the wax only remain, and you will make good points. But know that it is necessary for you to grind the colours with a warm stone. Forster 11 159 r. 

OIL 

Seed of mustard pounded with oil of linseed. Forster in 10 v. 

Make oil from seed of mustard, and if you wish to make it more easily mix the seed after grinding it with oil of linseed, and put it all under a press. Forster in 40 r. 

FOR STAMPING MEDALS 

Paste [is made] of emery mixed with spirits of wine, or iron filings with vinegar, or ashes of walnut-leaves, or ashes of straw rubbed very fine. 

The diamond is crushed [by being] wrapped up in lead and beaten with a hammer, the lead being several time spread out and folded up again, and it is kept wrapped up in paper so that the powder may not be scattered. Then melt the lead, and the powder rises to the surface of the lead when it has melted, and it is afterwards rubbed between two plates of steel so that it becomes a very fine powder; afterwards wash it with aqua fortis and the black coating of the iron will be dissolved and will leave the powder clean. 

Lumps of emery can be broken up by placing them in a cloth folded many times and hitting it on the side with a hammer; and by this means it goes into flakes bit by bit and is then easily crushed; and if you place it on the anvil you will never break it on account of its size. 

The grinder of enamels ought to practise in this way upon plates of tempered steel with a steel press, and then place it in aqua fortis which dissolves all the steel that is eaten away and mingled with this enamel and makes it black, with result that the enamel remains purified and 
clean. 

If you grind it upon porphyry this porphyry is consumed and becomes mingled with the enamel and spoils it, and aqua fortis will never free it from the porphyry because it cannot dissolve it. 

If you wish to make a beautiful blue, dissolve with tartar the enamel you have made and then take off the salt. 

Brass vitrified makes a fine red. Sul Volo Cover [ 1 ] v.