From American Arts Quarterly:

“Conservation illuminates the ingenuity of paint handling—be it a deceptively simple brushstroke, a dexterous fleck of paint from a fingertip or even the judicious tilt of a puddle of colored water to a composition’s ideal location. When art history is conducted with no connection to the messy, ineffable, alchemical process of art, then it becomes, in James Elkins’s eloquent phrase, “a meager reading of pictures.” Instead, it must grapple with the substance of art. It must understand that: “To a painter, [oil paint] is the life’s blood: a substance so utterly entrancing, infuriating, and ravishingly beautiful that it makes it worthwhile to go back into the studio every morning, year after year, for an entire lifetime.”

– excerpted from Techniques of the American Artist: From Experimental Chemistry to Representing Paint

brooklyn-bridge-in-winter_hassamBrooklyn Bridge in Winter
Childe Hassam, 1904

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