Technique in Western art was brought to a high degree of perfection up until the beginning of the 17th century. The young painter’s training took place in a Master’s studio, where, before even being allowed to paint, he was made to grind the colors, print the canvases, cook the oil and fill the palettes. Thus, he learned the secrets of the trade. Through the rigorous study of ancient treatises, taking into account recent scientific analyses made by museum laboratories on the works of the Masters, and by putting into practice the results of this research in his painting, Hervé BONSARD shows the essential knowledge that he has discovered in his workshop.
By opening the doors to this unusual place, he reveals the jealously guarded preparations of the 17th century artists: the organization of the work, the recipes, the manufacture of brushes, oils, varnishes, supports and pigments… Last stage in the history of European art before artists delegated more and more the manufacture of their material to merchants, on whom they became dependent. By freeing himself from the restrictions of tools created by industrials and distributors, he explains how he opened up a greater space of freedom and creation.
Hervé BONSARD’s work is the result of long-term research. The beginning of his apprenticeship was devoted to the search for unique recipes; it is the signature of his work and it will always remain so. He has studied the secrets of the workshops and found the jealously guarded methods of painters such as Rembrandt, Rubens or Frans Hals.
Hervé BONSARD takes great care of the precious heritage of the Baroque painters but his goal, through know-how and techniques that are more than 400 years old, is to make sure that his clients receive a real artistic family heritage of great quality which they can pass on to their descendants.
Modern art, contemporary art and art schools have erased this know-how which requires requirement, patience and rigor. A self-taught approach, shaking up all the codes, was therefore necessary.
« Hervé BONSARD makes his own tools, the aim of which is to get even closer to nature. He exploits what he finds in nature by relying on the know-how of workshops from the time of Henri IV to Louis XIV ».
« During our visit we discovered how pigments are ground, how black oil is produced, how feathers are used… Many secrets of the workshop plunged us into a time when the painter was a craftsman before being an artist».
« His challenge was to mix historical research and physico-chemical experiments without deviating from real facts. It took him several years to find these methods and techniques that he presents to us with passion and modesty ».
« Hervé BONSARD uses no more than 12 colours; only the subtlety of the mixtures, and the rich contribution constituted by the use of the glazes, are enough for him to face all the requirements ».