INTRODUCTION TO BYZANTINE BURNISHED GILDING OF ARTWORKS
Gilding is a technique widely used ever since the first centuries of ecclesiastical history, decorating the manuscripts and the halos of the saints on the icons. However, since the 14th cent., when church furniture started to evolve, various new gold plat- ing techniques were developed for this exact purpose.
Combinations of matte and glossy surfaces, oil and water-gild- ing, beaten or relief, on the spot use of silver and colouring with lacquers are only few of the diverse techniques that evolved over the centuries. All these techniques aim to aesthetically upgrade church furniture, which is transformed from a simple wooden artifact to a spectacle of infinite beauty. With the use of materials from various places of the Roman and Byzantine empires (like bole paste from Armenia or alabaster from Bologna) combined with methods that were passed on and evolved from generation to generation, numerous specific and accredited workshops, were producing masterpieces that still bedazzle the eye, even after centuries.
The longstanding experience in the domain of conservation of gilded Byzantine artworks and the lengthy research of materials technology, led ARTIS to the reproduction of the traditional burnished water-gilding craft as the most technologically suit- able for the creation of pieces of high aesthetics and impressive durability.
The traditional recipes for mixtures preparation, the continuous quest for the selection of the right materials, along with the passion, patience and love for this work, ensure exceptional results with a magnitude comparable to the authentic Byzantine works of art.