Suspension dorée is an ancient form of gilding that dates back to the Middle Ages. This art form involves applying a thin layer of gold leaf or gold powder to a surface using an adhesive solution such as glue or oil. The result is a shiny, reflective surface that gives the illusion of solid gold. This technique has been used to decorate everything from architecture to artwork, and is still practiced by skilled artisans today.
The History of Suspension Dorée
Suspension dorée has its roots in the Byzantine Empire, where it was used to decorate the lavish palaces and churches of the ruling class. The technique was later adopted by the Medieval Europeans, who used it to adorn Gothic cathedrals and illuminated manuscripts.
During the Renaissance, suspension dorée became even more popular, with artists such as Michelangelo and Raphael using it to embellish their paintings and sculptures. The technique was also used to gild furniture, mirrors, and even whole rooms in palaces such as Versailles.
Today, suspension dorée is still used by artists and craftsmen to create stunning works of art and decorative pieces. The traditional techniques have been refined and improved over time, and new technologies have made the process more accessible to a wider audience.
The Process of Suspension Dorée
The process of suspension dorée is not easy, and requires a great deal of skill and patience. It begins with selecting the base material, which can be anything from wood to metal to paper.
Next, the surface is prepared with a layer of adhesive. This can vary depending on the base material and the desired finish, but is usually a mixture of glue or oil and pigment. The adhesive is then allowed to dry completely before the gold leaf or powder is applied.
The gold leaf is cut into very thin sheets and then placed onto the adhesive surface. Using a special brush or tool, the leaf is pressed into the adhesive and smoothed out to create a seamless finish. The excess gold leaf is then removed, and the surface is left to dry.
Once the surface is completely dry, it is often burnished to create a smoother, shinier finish. This involves using a tool such as a agate burnisher to rub the surface of the gold leaf until it is polished to a high shine.
Uses of Suspension Dorée
Suspension dorée has been used for centuries to embellish a wide range of objects, including:
- Picture frames
- Decorative panels
- Statues and sculptures
- Paintings and illuminated manuscripts
- Architectural elements such as domes and columns
Today, suspension dorée is still used to create beautiful art and decorative pieces. It is also popular among people who are restoring antiques or who want to add a touch of luxury to their home decor.