Lost Secrets of Flemish Painting

Including the First Complete English Translation of the De Mayerne Manuscript, B.M., Sloane 2052. [Newly Revised - 3rd Edition]

Lost Secrets of Flemish Painting, written by Donald C. Fels, Jr. and accompanied by oil paintings by the renowned artist Joseph Sulkowski, is a work devoted solely to documenting in detail, the varnishes, painting mediums and painting methods used by Renaissance and Baroque craftsmen and painters. Now, for the first time in one book, painters and historians will find listed not only clear directions for replicating the visual effects found on XVI and XVII century oil paintings, but also have at their fingertips the early historical documents which describe the practices used by painters and craftsmen before 1700.

Lost sectrets

“This is a very important book, one that is essential for both libraries and individuals.”

Patricia Railing, The Art Book, Review of Lost Secrets of Flemish Painting, (Volume 12, Issue 3)

Read her complete and other reviews here!

Also included in this work is the first complete English translation of the De Mayerne manuscript B.M. Sloane 2052. The notes of the XVIIth century's most renowned authority on the technical aspects of painting and art, Sir Theodore Turquet De Mayerne. Originally written in several languages on 170 manuscript pages, these notes comprise the most complete record on the technical aspects of XVII century painting and craft practices which have come down to us. Here in the notes of Dr. De Mayerne, gained from his position at court to the kings James I, Charles I and Charles II of England, the reader will find recorded technical instructions on art and painting along with recipes for preparing varnishes, painting mediums, arranging a palette, coating canvases, panels, painting landscapes, the human figure, mixing colors, and preparing pigment from such giants in painting as Sir Peter Paul Rubens, Sir Anthony Van Dyck, and a host of other well-known XVII century painters and craftsmen.

Many of the practices used by Renaissance and Baroque craftsmen and painters were often kept secret. To aid the reader in gaining a full insight into these past studio practices, the author, Donald C. Fels, Jr. will share the newly discovered painting mediums and methods of painting he has unearthed and explore in detail the ways of preparing the various amber and non-amber varnishes listed in the ancient texts on painting.

For painters wishing to follow in the footsteps of the old masters, the author has provided a detailed list of painting instructions, like recipes for preparing painting mediums, accompanied by a series of oil paintings by the renowned artist Joseph Sulkowski, will allow painters to reproduce the effects and illusions found on sixteenth and seventeenth century Flemish paintings. More than just a book on painting, this work is the story of the author Donald C. Fels Jr. his lifelong search as an artist, master musical instrument maker, and maker of historical painting mediums for the long lost-painting mediums and methods used by Renaissance and Baroque painters in oil.

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"...could be one of the most important texts on the formulas and techniques employed by great masters."


"...Fels describes the methods by which a modern painter can use the traditional recipes and methods in order to replicate the craft described by de Mayerne..."

The ArtBook

"...Donald C. Fels Jr. has produced evidence of the secrets of the Flemish masters..."

American Artist