encaustic painting

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encaustic painting
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{{more footnotes|date=July 2016}}File:Petersinai.jpg|thumb|A 6th-century encaustic icon from Saint Catherine's Monastery, EgyptEgyptEncaustic painting, also known as hot wax painting, involves using heated beeswax to which colored pigments are added. The liquid or paste is then applied to a surface—usually prepared wood, though canvas and other materials are often used. The simplest encaustic mixture can be made from adding pigments to beeswax, but there are several other recipes that can be used—some containing other types of waxes, damar resin, linseed oil, or other ingredients. Pure, powdered pigments can be used, though some mixtures use oil paints or other forms of pigment.WEB,weblink What Is Encaustic?, Encaustic Art Institute, Metal tools and special brushes can be used to shape the paint before it cools, or heated metal tools can be used to manipulate the wax once it has cooled onto the surface. Today, tools such as heat lamps, heat guns, and other methods of applying heat allow artists to extend the amount of time they have to work with the material. Because wax is used as the pigment binder, encaustics can be sculpted as well as painted. Other materials can be encased or collaged into the surface, or layered, using the encaustic medium to stick them to the surface.A completely unrelated type of "encaustic painting", not involving wax at all, is found in British ceramics, after Josiah Wedgwood devised and patented the technique in 1769. This was a mixture of ceramic slip and overglaze "enamel" paints used to imitate ancient Greek vase painting, and given a light second firing. Usually the vessel was black and painted in the red of red-figure painting. The technique was copied by other British potteries.Young, 51; "Bulb pot and cover", V&A Museum Encaustic tiles are not painted at all, but effectively inlaid with contrasting colours of clay for a polychrome pattern.


(File:EncausticPortraitWoman.jpg|thumb|left|upright|Fayum mummy portrait)The word encaustic originates from the Greek word enkaustikos{{citation | chapter=Encaustic | title=The Oxford American Dictionary }} which means to burn in, and this element of heat is necessary for a painting to be called encaustic.The wax encaustic painting technique was described by the Roman scholar Pliny the Elder in his Natural History from the 1st Century AD.{{sfn|Pliny the Elder|1885|loc= Book 35, ch 41}} The oldest surviving encaustic panel paintings are the Romano-Egyptian Fayum mummy portraits from Egypt around 100–300 AD,{{sfn|Doxiadis|1995|p=193}} but was a very common technique in ancient Greek and Roman painting. It continued to be used in early Byzantine icons but was effectively abandoned in the Western Church. Kut-kut, a lost art of the Philippines, employs sgraffito and encaustic techniques. It was practiced by the indigenous tribe of Samar island around 1600 to 1800. Artists in the Mexican muralism movement, such as Diego RiveraWEB,weblink Painting: Encaustic, 2011-05-13, bot: unknown,weblink" title="">weblink May 13, 2011, and Jean Charlot{{sfn|Charlot|1998}} sometimes used encaustic painting. The Belgian artist James Ensor also experimented with encaustic."Fireworks", 1887, James Ensor (see "James Ensor" MoMA, New York, 2009)File:The Mummy of Demetrios, 95-100 C.E.,11.600a-b.jpg|thumbnail|The Mummy of Demetrios, 95-100 C.E.,11.600a-b, Brooklyn MuseumBrooklyn MuseumIn the 20th century, painter Fritz Faiss (1905–1981), a student of Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky at the Bauhaus, together with Dr. Hans Schmid, rediscovered the so-called "Punic wax" technique of encaustic painting. Faiss held two German patents related to the preparation of waxes for encaustic painting. One covered a method for treating beeswax so that its melting point was raised from {{convert|60|to|100|C}}. This occurred after boiling the wax in a solution of sea water and soda three successive times. The resulting harder wax is the same as the Punic wax referred to in ancient Greek writings on encaustic painting.NEWS, Reams, Maxine, October 19, 1952, Unique Wax Paintings by Immigrant Artist Should Endure 10,000 Years, Los Angeles Times, G14, NEWS, Fritz Faiss Encaustic Work Shown, Los Angeles Times, D6, February 3, 1952, Other 20th-century North American artists, including Jasper Johns, Tony Scherman, Mark Perlman, and Fernando Leal Audirac have used encaustic techniques.(File:Autumn Leaf encaustic painting by Mitzi Humphrey.png|thumb|Autumn Leaf encaustic painting by Mitzi Humphrey)Encaustic art has seen a resurgence in popularity since the 1990s with people using electric irons, hotplates and heated styli on different surfaces including card, paper and even pottery. The iron makes producing a variety of artistic patterns easier. The medium is not limited to just simple designs; it can be used to create complex paintings, just as in other media such as oil and acrylic.WEB, Mayer, Ralph, Encaustic Painting - Ralph Mayer,weblink, 21 October 2016, Although technically difficult to master, attractions of this medium for contemporary artists are its dimensional quality and luminous color.Gianquinto, Michael A., Cape Cod Museum Curator of Art. Swept Away: Translucense, Transparence, Transcendence in Contemporary Encaustic. (2014) Curator's foreword to Hunterdon Art Museum Exhibition Catalog,p. 6.

Encaustic painters

Artists specializing in encaustic painting include the following.{{flatlist| }}

See also


WEB, Pinoy artist promotes native art in Chicago, ABS-CBN News, 5 March 2008, 2016-06-09,weblink }}


  • BOOK, harv, Doxiadis, Euphrosyne, Euphrosyne Doxiadis, The Mysterious Fayum Portraits: Faces from Ancient Egypt,weblink 1995, H. N. Abrams, 978-0-500-28217-5,
  • CONFERENCE,weblink Jean Charlot's First Fresco:The Massacre in the Main Temple, John, Charlot, February 16–20, 1998, Congreso Internacional de Muralismo: San Ildefonso cuna del muralismo mexicano, Reflexiones historiográficas y artísticas, Mexico City, es, El Primer Fresco de Jean Charlot: La Masacre en el Templo Mayor, harv,
  • BOOK, The Natural History, Pliny the Elder, Pliny the Elder, John Bostock, H.T. Riley, London, Taylor and Francis, 1855,weblink harv, c. AD70,
  • Young, Hilary (ed.), The Genius of Wedgwood (exhibition catalogue), 1995, Victoria and Albert Museum, {{ISBN|185177159X}}

Further reading

  • BOOK, harv, Mayer, Ralph, Sheehan, Steven, The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques,weblink 1991, Viking, 978-0-670-83701-4,
  • Reams, Maxine. "Unique Wax Paintings by Immigrant Artist should Endure 10,000 Years." Los Angeles Times, Oct. 19, 1952
  • BOOK, Birgit Hüttemann-Holz, Wanderlust. Gedichte und Malerei in Enkaustik - poems and encaustic paintings,weblink Blurb Inc., San Francisko, USA, 2013,
  • Hildebrandt, Hans. "Fritz Faiss" Kunst der Nation, 1933
  • BOOK, harv, Mattera, Joanne, The Art of Encaustic Painting: Contemporary Expression in the Ancient Medium of Pigmented Wax,weblink 2001, Watson-Guptill Publications, 978-0-8230-0283-2, 22,
  • BOOK, harv, Rankin, Lissa, Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide to Creating Fine Art with Wax,weblink 2010, Watson-Guptill Publications, 978-0-8230-9928-3,
  • Gottsegen, Mark David (2006). Painter's Handbook: Revised and Expanded (Revised, Expanded ed.). New York: Watson-Guptill. p. 60. {{ISBN|978-0-8230-3496-3}}.

External links

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