Literary. The Painter, Gilder, and Varnisher's Companion.

Manufacturer and builder 6 / 1869

Containing rules and regulations in every thing relating to the arts of painting, gilding, varnishing, glass-staining, graining, marbling, sign-writing, gilding on glass, and coach-painting and varnishing; tests for the detection of adulterations in oils, colors, etc. Thirteenth edition. Philadelphia: Henry Carey Baird, Industrial publisher, No. 406 Walnut Street.

Few men have done more for the spread of publications devoted to the industrial arts than Henry Carey Baird, whose name appears as publisher on the title-page of the work before us. His list comprises the names of Armengaud and Amouroux, Baird, Bakewell, Booth and Morlit, Camus, Colburn, Fairbairn, Gilbart, Hunt, Johnson, Main and Brown, Overman, Regnault, Reid, Templeton, Will, WIlliams, Wöhler, and others - names which carry with them a strong recommendation of the works upon whose title-pages they may appear. It was therefore with regret that we observed that, although the Painter's and Varnisher's Guide has reached the thirteenth edition, no one has as yet put in a claim of paternity to the bantling. It seems daring all that time to have been one of that class which
"Wander like a bastard race
Without a father's care" -
the latter clause of our quatation being unfortunately and eminently true; for it is unquestionable that the kindly hand of no competent editor has been invoked to draw a vail over its errors and defects. Hence we have a paragraph devoted to ultramarine, in which we are told that it is made from lapis lazuli, while we are perfectly willing to make the assertion that there is not a pound of ultramarine made from lapis lazuli to be found to-day in the New-York market. Again, in translating and editing Chevreul's Principles of Harmony and Contrast of Colors, no notice is taken of modern discoveries of views. We are gravely told that the color are six in number - three being simple and three compound. Practically this is all wrong, for even with the purest colors it is impossible to form the various coors from a mere mixture of what are called the three primary colors or a mixture of any six color. The truth is, that the actual number of the colors is infinite, and although by combining blue and yellow we can make green, it does not follow that green is composed of blue and yellow. We make these criticisms the more freely because the work really has a sound basis of good practical common sense, and if properly revised by a competent editor, would have proved every way worthy of the house from which it emanates. The chapters on varnishes and lacquers are excellent, and the article on painting coaches is full of sound sense and practical hints. It is evidently from the hand of one who is perfectly familiar with his subject, and its value is not confined to the coah painter alone. It would prove worth more than the price of the book not only to every painter, but to every man that has any thing to paint. A description of the newer colors is added in the form of extracts from Field's Grammar of Coloring, and is in general reliable. On the whole, the book is one of great value, and, as we before remarked, this makes it all the greater pity that it has not been submitted to the careful revision of some competent editor.

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