This technique has a much longer tradition than oil painting and experienced its heyday in Greek-Roman antiquity. In the imagination of the artists, their own materialised thoughts were burned with fire onto the painting surface for ever. The word encaustic has also been used for more than two and a half millennia and comes from the Greek word "enkauston" - burned in.
Today I use an electrically heated plate to heat the wax in bowls, apply it with brushes and later fuse it in a controlled manner with a gas burner. In the Greek antiquity either cold colours were applied with hot spatulas, which were previously heated over red-hot braziers, and then the wax was burned in by heat radiation (through red-hot iron). Or hot liquid was applied to stone, wood or ivory. The wax used was melted beeswax with or without the addition of drying oil (nut oil).
Encaustic was a very complex technique for the artists of that time, but it was this technique that allowed the heyday of ancient Greek painting. In late antiquity it was replaced by other painting techniques and fell into oblivion around the 6th century AD.
Outstanding evidence of encaustics are the famous Egyptian mummy portraits in the British Museum in London and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, wall paintings in Pompeii and in the Neue Pinakothek in Munich. Traces of encaustic have even been discovered on the Trajan Column in Rome. Some very old Christian icons in encaustic technique have also been preserved, for example in St. Catherine's Monastery on the Sinai or in the Maria Advocata in Rome.
Encaustic paintings are famous for their transparency and depth. In oil or acrylic painting the light is mainly reflected on the surface of the paint and only very little from the depth of the paint layer. In encaustic painting the light is reflected from the depth of the painting layer down to the painting ground itself.
Source:> Page"Encaustic". In:Wikipedia, The free encyclopedia.Processing status:31 October 2019, 11:24 UTC.URL:https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Enkaustik&oldid=193620097 (Retrieved:July 10, 2020, 15:28 UTC)and> https://www.encaustic-academie.de/ history/
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