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References cited

Cennini, Cennino, Craftsman’s Handbook. Dover Publications, ©1978. (Translated from Il Libro dell’Arte.)  Available from

Perhaps the definitive work on artist’s methods of the medieval and Renaissance periods, although primarily limited to those as practiced in Italy.
Mayer, Ralph, The Artist’s Handbook of Materials and Techniques. Viking Press, ©1991. Available from

Long a standard reference for the practicing artist and art student, with histories of methods and materials, formulas, and sources.

Smith, Ray, The Artist’s Handbook. Knopf, ©1987. Available from

An excellent presentation, well organized, and accompanied by clear charts, illustrations and photographs.

Massey, Robert, Formulas For Painters Watson-Guptil, ©1967. Available from

Traditional and contemporary formulas for gessoes, sizes, mediums, and just about anything else the do-it-yourself artist might want to make. Nothing specifically for silverpoint grounds, though one can experiment and modify other formulas for the purpose.


— The Dictionary of Art — MacMillan, Ltd., ©1996.
Available from Amazon.Com.

Current retail is $995, and some used sets, or check your local academic library.



Ames-Lewis, Francis, Drawing in Early Renaissance Italy  Yale University Press,
©1981. Available from

Good discussion, good illustrations. Very valuable in understanding “shop practice” of the period.



Watrous, James, The Craft of Old-Master Drawings . University of Wisconsin Press, ©2002. Available from

Solid contemporary research and description of Old Masters’ craft, technology, recipes and techniques. Back in print.


Weber, Bruce,The Fine Line: Drawing with Silver in America . Norton Gallery & School of Art, ©1985. Frequently available used, from Amazon.Com

Catalog of an exhibition at
the Norton Gallery and School of Art, Florida.

Museums where you can see online images of metalpoint drawings

These are the places where I found many of the images
discussed in these pages

Museum of Fine Arts,
Boston, US

Fine Arts Museums
of San Francisco, US

National Gallery of Art,
Washington, DC

Museum of Art, Washington, D.C.

British Museum, London, United Kingdom

The Hermitage
Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia