Birth of a Work of Art

Sophisticated and talented artist, Silvia Salvadori realizes her works using the original technique of egg tempera, inherited by the great painters of the Italian Renaissance and today re-proposed thanks to her works, which are always strongly inspired and linked to the great Sienese and Tuscan schools of both the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Thanks to the great and the innate talent, teacher Silvia Salvadori is able to create works of high prestige and value, the symbol of the great Italian figurative tradition, which have as motif Siena’s hills, nature, Tuscan villages and castles, hunting scenes and medieval and Renaissance gardens.

The artist’s hand is always guided by the pure feeling of contemplation, and all her tempera paintings can be singled out by the clear appeal to classical figuration and the ability to bring a delicate painting to life on a refined old wooden table, composed of subtle colour intersections, impalpable velvets, lively chromaticities and subtle golden glittering.

Silvia Salvadori creating a work
Salvadori during the process of creating a work

Unique works of true antique art that perfectly reflect Silvia Salvadori‘s desire to reproduce, in its purest and authentic form, an ancient and now-lost art craft.

Each of her works is backed up by years of studies and intense work, during which Silvia Salvadori has combined her innate artistic vocation with in-depth research, indispensable for selecting and choosing the best pigments, decorations, and basic elements to create a one-of-a-kind and authentic work. An element that binds all of her works together is the constant commitment and the great passion that the artist has always had towards a unique and immortal art: an ancient craft inspiration that painters around the world should preserve to ascertain the legacy is passed on.

The Painting Technique

The reference point for the works of Silvia Salvadori is the ancient pictorial techniques handed down to this day thanks to of Cennino Cennini’s “Book of Art” (1370-1440), as well as numerous treatises left by masters of the era.

The artist’s works recall the well-known 14th and 15th-century Tuscan painters, who gave life to the most florid and creative period of the history of Italian art like Duccio Buoninsegna, Cimabue, Simone Martini, Sassetta, Pietro Lorenzetti, Sano di Pietro and Piero della Francesca.

Silvia Salvadori while preparing to finish a work
Silvia Salvadori takes care of the details of one of her paintings

All of Silvia Salvadori’s works are a tribute to the pictorial technique of the previously mentioned prosperous era; each element of a work is thoroughly analysed in the smallest detail and painted on special wooden supports which, before being used, are left to mature for many years. Just as much attention is paid to the individual pigments, selecting the rarest and the highest in quality ones such as blue lapis lazuli, shellfish gold and, red cochineal; the same is done for gums and resins: the artist only uses those of natural origin.

It is a scrupulous study and selection work that Silvia Salvadori carries on with passion to bring back to light the great and unique artistic knowledge that, in the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, led to the birth of the most important Tuscan painting schools.

Thanks to the recovery and use of ancient painting techniques, inherited from prestigious paintings, Silvia Salvadori is able to create special works, in which one could observe chiaroscuro effects, the result of a careful study and an equally scrupulous respect for ancient techniques. The preparation of the pictorial support is in fact made with multiple layers of plaster and rabbit glue, without using any chemical or synthetic products, while the gildings are entirely made using 23 / 4K gold plated leaves laid on clay layers of yellow or red redwood originating from Armenia

Nothing is overlooked; the decorative motifs of the horns and the frames are engraved with bougainvillea and agate stone, while brocades and damask garments are always enriched with silver and pure gold decorations, with the possibility of commissioning precious stones and gemstones, carved by the best Tuscan masters.

The results are unique works of beauty, prestige, and chromatic sophistication; works that are able to combine the old pictorial techniques with a truly unique and unmistakable performance.

All the works by Silvia Salvadori are unique pieces created by hand, the result of a long and very scrupulous study and research. Salvadori realizes commissioned works and executes all her works respecting the directives given by her clients.

How a painting is born on the table:

The realization of a painting on the table is a long and complex work, made of meticulous attention and study of those that were the ancient painting techniques of the Sienese school. The works of Silvia Salvadori are the result of this constant commitment. She uses egg yolk tempera in all of her works, as well as the ancient technique of gilding and the complex colour’s alchemy used between the XIII and XV century by Tuscan artists.

To create a painting on a table, you have to follow several steps and pay close attention to every aspect.

  • The choice of wood support: choosing the finest wood left to mature for many years, such as poplar, lime, willow, and pear;
  • Preparation of the table: Sliding crosspieces and swallowtail clasps are attached to the back of the table in order to avoid possible movements of the wood;
  • Realization of engravings and decorations in relief;
  • Handwriting on the board of glue and linen cloth;
  • Gypsum impression with rabbit glue on a wooden support made with eight or twelve thin chalk hands (no chemical or synthetic products are used at this time);
  • Thin shaving of plaster base;
  • Preparation of the bottom with Armenian red boletus and fish paste;
  • Gouache or shell gilding and application of gold leaf at 23k on red bolus;
  • Burning of agate stone gilding and creation of decorations on punched gold or plaster reliefs with decorative paste;
  • Preparation of the so-called “Sinopia”, the overall preparatory drawing made with a sponge soaked in scrap coal dust (point-to-point drawing) and the fine lines with red earth from Siena.
  • Paintings are used in this stage with high-quality pigments in original powder, soils and ochre mixed with egg yolks, veils prepared with figs and egg whites, as well as natural resins, oils, and animal grains;
  • Table drying: This phase lasts at least 3 months
  • Finishing with mastic and beeswax