The Primer of Claude of France


Artists' Techniques

Notable examples include the serpent’s wing on fol. 4r, a carpet in the lower left scene on fol. 5v and the angel appearing in Joseph’s dream on fol. 7v.

A more significant change, which probably involved the entire scene, was made to the image of God and Gabriel on fol. 7v. The infrared image clearly shows the presence of an architectural interior, with arches at the top and a column on the right. The lower portion of a figure’s crossed legs is also visible, as well as his feet.

Select the ‘infrared’ layer and explore the hotspots in the folios on the right to see the pentimenti.

Lightbox: 77
Despite the low resolution of this capture, the SWIR image shows the radical changes to the composition designed by the artist in this scene.
Lightbox: 78
Thanks to the high reflectance of azurite in the SWIR range, this image most clearly reveals the presence of an angel hovering above Joseph’s head, which was sketched but never painted.

Several pentimenti are hidden beneath the paint layers on this page; in some cases, they can be perceived with the naked eye, through the light blue azurite used in the sky. They are more easily seen in the near-infrared image and become even clearer in the images recorded using infrared reflectography (hotspots 1 and 2).