THE MAKING OF A WORK OF ART
A refined and talented artist, Silvia Salvadori realizes her works using the original technique of egg yolk tempera, transmitted from the great Renaissance master painters and nowadays rediscovered thanks to her works, always strongly inspired and linked to the great Sienese and Tuscan schools of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Thanks to her great knowledge of the materials and her natural talent, master Silvia Salvadori is able to create works of high value and importance, symbols of the great Italian figurative tradition and which have as a recurring subject the landscapes of the Sienese hills, the still lives, as well as villages and castles of Tuscany, hunting scenes on horseback and medieval or Renaissance gardens. The hand of the artist is always guided by the pure feeling to be contemplated with the heart, and all her tempera paintings are distinguished by the clear reference to classical figuration but also by the ability to revive a delicate and refined painting, composed of very subtle interweaving of colour, impalpable glazes, lively colours and subtle golden highlights, on an ancient wooden table.
Silvia Salvadori's works of true ancient art perfectly reflect her desire to rediscover, in its purest and most authentic form, an ancient and now vanished art. Years of study and intense work are hidden behind each of her works, during which Silvia Salvadori has combined her innate artistic talent with careful research, essential for selecting and choosing the best pigments, decorations and supports, which are all fundamental elements to create a unique and authentic work. An element of union is the constant dedication and great passion that the artist has always had towards a unique and immortal art, towards an ancient craft that is a source of inspiration for painting from all over the world, to be preserved and transmitted.
The Painting TechniqueSilvia Salvadori’s models are the ancient painting techniques transmitted to the present day thanks to Cennino Cennini "Libro dell’Arte" (1370-1440), in addition to the various treatises passed down to us by the great masters of the time. In her works there are references and hints to the most important Tuscan painters of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in Siena, and her long years of study dedicated to the great Tuscan painters, such as Duccio Buoninsegna, Cimabue, Simone Martini, Sassetta, Pietro Lorenzetti, Sano di Pietro and Piero della Francesca, who gave life to the most flourishing and creative period in the history of Italian painting, are clearly evident.
The artist's entire pictorial work is a tribute to the pictorial technique of that lucky period of Italian art; each element of a work is analyzed down to the smallest details and painted on precious wooden supports left to season for many years before being used. Equal attention is paid to the selection of individual pigments, favouring the use of the finest and the most precious ones such as lapis lazuli blue, pure gold in shell, carminium red (cochineal red), while for gums and resins only those of natural origin. Silvia Salvadori carries out with passion a scrupulous work of study and selection to bring to light that great and unique artistic knowledge that between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries led to the birth of the most important Tuscan pictorial schools. Thanks to the rediscovery and use of ancient painting techniques, transmitted from prestigious painting treatises, Silvia Salvadori is able to create valuable works in which the refined chiaroscuro effects stand out, showing the result of a careful study and an equally scrupulous respect for ancient techniques. Indeed, the preparation of the pictorial support is performed with several layers of plaster primer and rabbit glue, without ever using chemical or synthetic products, while the gilding are entirely made using pure 23 3/4 K pure gold leaves, spread over layers of very fine yellow or red (red bolus) clay from Armenian soil (gouache gilding). Nothing is overlooked; the decorative motifs of the haloes and frames are engraved with burin and agate stone, while the brocades and damasks of the garments are always enriched with precious decorations in silver and pure gold, with the possibility, on commission, to insert precious stones and gems, carved by the best Tuscan goldsmiths. The result is unique works for beauty, value, elegance and chromatic refinement, works that are able to combine ancient painting techniques with a truly unique and unmistakable talent. All the works created by Silvia Salvadori are unique pieces created by hand, and they are the result of a long and very scrupulous process of study and research. Silvia Salvadori creates works on commission and, in the execution of all her works, she respects the directives given by her clients.
How a painting on the table is born:The creation of a panel painting is a long and complex process, made up of meticulous attention and study of the ancient painting techniques of the Sienese school. Silvia Salvadori’s works are the result of this constant dedication and in all her works the artist uses the technique of egg yolk tempera, the ancient technique of gilding and the complex alchemy of colors used between the 13th and 15th century by Tuscan artists. To create a panel painting, you need to follow several steps and pay close attention to every aspect.
- Choice of wooden support: choice of the finest wooden essences left to season for many years. Among the preferred supports stand out: poplar, linden, willow and pear;
- Table preparation:
- In this phase, sliding crosspieces and dovetail joints are applied to the back of the table in order to prevent possible wood movements;
- Realization of carvings and relief decorations;
- Hand drawing of glue and linen on the table;
- Plaster primer and rabbit glue of the wooden support, made with eight or twelve coats of thin plaster (in this phase no chemical or synthetic products are used);
- Thin smoothing of the plaster base;
- Preparation of the base with Armenian red bole and isinglass;
- Gouache or shell gilding and application of the 23 k gold leaf on the red bole;
- Burnishing of the agate stone gilding and creation of decorations on punch gold or reliefs on plaster with pastille decoration;
- Preparation of the "Sinopia", that is the overall preparatory drawing, made with a sponge soaked in vine charcoal powder (trace of the drawing point by point) and for the thin lines with red clay from Siena.
- Painting: in this phase precious original powder pigments are used, natural earths and ochres mixed in egg yolk, glazes prepared with fig milk and egg white, as well as natural resins, oils and animal glues;
- Table drying: this phase lasts at least 3 months.
- Final painting with mastic and beeswax.