Jean Corbechon, Livre des propriétés des choses

Painting the flesh

Artists' Techniques

The Mazarine Master applied flesh tones over a light pink base layer, containing lead white and variable quantities of vermilion. He used a range of earth pigments to delineate shadows, and short parallel strokes of vermilion red to define noses, cheeks and mouths, and often eyebrows and foreheads. Facial features were further outlined in brown or black.

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Detail of God’s face under magnification (20x).
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Detail of a hybrid creature under magnification (7.5x).
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Detail of a dragon under magnification (7.5x).

As angels look down from heaven, God bends over Adam, who lies asleep on a grassy hillside, and draws Eve from his side. Figures in the border include dragons and hybrid creatures.