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Book Recommendation:The Science of Paintings

June 4, 2010


The Science of Paintings by W. Stanley Taft & James W. Mayer

This is a basic college level text book that goes over chemistry, optics and physics as it relates to paintings.  It would be a very useful text for teachers working to get students interested in scientific information that may find some theories or concepts too abstract or dis-interesting and need a real-world application for making the knowledge accessible and practical.  I got a lot out of learning how the chemistry of various kinds of paints function and found the physics of light section very interesting.  This text is written for people that have more of an art background than a science background, things are explained on a very basic level, and this text would be of particular interest to anyone interested in a museum career or art conservation career.  There is also an interesting chapter on detecting fakes and forgeries.

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