Dataset Maartje Stols-Witlox (2001-2015)

The Artechne database contains an extensive dataset consisting of recipes (1039 records) for artistic painting grounds from the period 1550-1900 created by Maartje Stols-Witlox, Assistant Professor Paintings Conservation at the University of Amsterdam, for her PhD research Historical recipes for preparatory layers for oil paintings in manuals, manuscripts and handbooks in North West Europe, 1550-1900: analysis and reconstructions (University of Amsterdam, 2014). Stols-Witlox’ book, A Perfect Ground,preparatory layers for oil paintings, 1550-1900, published in 2017, is the first comprehensive study of the materials and techniques described in historical recipes for ground layers, focusing on North West Europe during the period 1550–1900. The introduction of the book gives a detailed description of the recipe dataset and the search/collection parameters employed. In her book, Stols-Witlox evaluates these recipes, places them within a time frame and investigates geographical differences. The role of recipe books in the daily life of painters is examined as is the influence of commercial ground preparation on painting practice and the relationship between written recipes and actual life in the painter’s studio. The dataset that Stols-Witlox assembled during her research has now been made accessible through the Artechne database. A CSV of the complete dataset can be downloaded here.


A source is generally a collection of information, such as a book or manuscript. We split sources into smaller records to enhance searchability.