This study focuses on the profound changes of painting materials and techniques as well as the shift in aesthetic and scientific concepts of color between 1750 and 1850. In this period, we see a break in the tradition, after which paintings not only showed a great variety of painting techniques and materials, but also unusual damage from ageing.
Annik Pietsch examines whether interdependencies exist between the phenomena of the damage and the topoi, between practice and discourse. She traces the transition from a craft-oriented painting practice to a scientifically reflected one and on to an emphasis on autonomy. This process involves the re-evaluation of coloring and painting techniques, which are transformed from a means of representation to prominent forms of painterly expression. The author has combined her competences as a restorer, biochemist, and art historian to conduct a study that connects theory and practice in a compelling way.