This research project is founded on a notebook kept by the Central Swiss painter Hans Emmenegger (1866–1940) during the first quarter of the 20th century, where he systematically recorded information about his painting techniques. It focuses in particular on the 150 pages where, between February 1901 and June 1905, the artist described the often protracted genesis of his paintings, the artistic and technical factors associated with this process and the successful (or unsuccessful) application of techniques. On the last page he compiled a short list of his painting materials: commercially purchased products from known and unknown manufacturers, such as pre-primed canvas, tubes of paint (oil and tempera), various media, dryers, fixatives and varnishes.
Emmenegger’s lists and journal-like entries are extremely informative, not only with regard to his own output, but also for the broader context of painting technique in the early 20th century. The project researchers will subject his notes to scholarly evaluation. At the same time, selected works by the artist in the period from 1901 to 1905 will be examined with the aid of imaging techniques and material analysis, and this data will be correlated with the corresponding notebook entries.
The sequence of illustrations below grants an impression of the research.