Journal of
Conservation & Museum Studies
No. 1, May 1996

Second Postgraduate Conservation Research Seminar
Science Museum, London SW7 2DD, UK
8-9 February 1996



Jilleen Nadolny

The Courtauld Institute, Department of Conservation and Technology, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN, United Kingdom

To date, the extensive use of tin in the polychromy and paintings of the high and late Middle Ages has not been fully recognised. The physical properties of tin were widely exploited by medieval artists, primarily to aid in the mass production of relief applications. Beaten into thin sheets of foil, tin was imprinted with low relief designs, then glazed or gilded, and used to embellish everything from paintings to interior architecture. Due to problems related to the degradation of tin, such decorations are often in poor condition and retain little of their original splendour. This talk will describe the various uses of tin in polychromy and trace the history of the application of these techniques in the major art producing centres of central Europe.


The methods, techniques, and conclusions found in individual papers are the work and responsibility of the author of the paper, and should in no way be thought to represent the opinion or endorsement of either the Journal of Conservation & Museum Studies, the Institute of Archaeology, or University College London. No liability or contract is accepted or implied by the publication of these data.


Copyright © Jilleen Nadolny, 1996. All rights reserved.