Mineral painting

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A mural painting method that uses a Water glass based paint. The technique was first called stereochromy about 1825 by J. Fuchs and Schlotthaurer. It was revived, improved and renamed mineral painting in the 1880's by Adolf Keim, Munich (Doerner 1934). Mineral painting was a difficult technique that was rarely used after the nineteenth century. The water glass used in mineral painting was based on Potassium silicate, rather than Sodium silicate. The paint mixture, prepared with Slaked lime, powdered Chalk, and Zinc oxide, dried to form a water insoluble film. However, the paint was difficult to apply and the pigments tended to become lumpy. Some improvement was obtained when the pigments were initially dispersed in Casein (Doerner 1934). Mineral paint was applied over metal or dry cement covered with a ground layer of lime-based mortar. The colors are applied wet onto wet grounds so the colors can be absorbed deeply. The dried painting is fixed with an ammoniac-potassium water glass solution (Doerner 1934). Excess fixative is later washed off with water.

Synonyms and Related Terms

stereochromy; water glass painting

Resources and Citations

  • M. Doerner, The Materials of the Artist, Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1934
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)

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