Casein Paint & Painting

Casein Paint & Painting

Decorative casein painting.

Craftsman Style

As casein contains free lime, like whitewash, it is impracticable to get such a variety of colors, or such brilliant or delicate ones, as with calcimine; moreover, it is of a coarse texture, as compared with the latter, and is not as suitable for interior work. It is liable to mold and to decomposition if used in very damp places, as in cellars and the like.

Some three and a half centuries ago, Vasari, a celebrated writer and fresco painter, in his "Lives of the Painters" told the story of a painter named Paolo Ucelli, who was employed to decorate with mural paintings the walls and ceilings of some public rooms in a monastery. In addition to certain small daily wages he was provided with board and lodging; but the thrifty monks, though they themselves had an ample diet, kept him for the most part on soup and bread and cheese. He was practically a prisoner; but one day he ran away, and for a long time eluded the pursuit of the monks, who, being fat and well-fed, were easily out-run by the thin and long-legged artist. But they hit on the device of sending in pursuit some of the young men who had recently come to the monastery to prepare for admission, and they at length captured him and brought him back. When reproached with his breach of contract he explained that as he was working with lime-washes and paints and living on cheese, he feared and indeed believed that he had symptoms that he was turning into cement. So to get the pictures done they had to give him a more varied supply of food.

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