UC Berkeley History of Art Department

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Material Images

Spike Bucklow


The lecture focuses on the images in a weighty 700-year-old tome that was intended to instruct a bishop in the performance of his duties. The Metz Pontifical was made in Northern France; half of it is now in Prague, Czech Republic, and the other half is in Cambridge, England. It is one of the most luxuriously illuminated manuscripts of its type to survive. Work on the manuscript stopped in 1416 upon the death of Bishop Renau de Bar, and its unfinished state shows the evolution of images from drawings through under-painting and gilding to finished images.

Spike Bucklow is currently Senior Research Scientist at the Hamilton Kerr Institute, University of Cambridge, a centre for the conservation of paintings. His first degree was in chemistry and he made special effects for movies, including Star Wars and Indiana Jones. His research interests have turned to artists' materials and their methods, as published in The Alchemy of Paint (2009), The Riddle of the Image (2014), and Red (Reaktion Books, 2016).