Conference organised by Courtauld Institute of Art and the National Gallery, London February 11th and 12th, 2005

The Courtauld Institute of Art and the National Gallery are jointly organising a two-day international conference on “European Trade in Painters’ Materials to 1700”, to be held in London in February 2005. The scope of the meeting will include European trade and trade routes, the retail distribution and wholesale trade in painters’ materials. It will encompass specific case histories as well as a more general view of the mechanisms and actuality of trading.

Plans for the meeting are already under way. We hope to include conservators, conservation scientists and art historians, but also to encourage the participation of historians and economic historians, as traditionally these fields are not so well represened in discussions in the conservation discipline. Although we are mainly interested in painters’ supplies, we also wish to give attention to associated crafts such as glass-making, pottery and dyeing. Some topics have already been suggested; others that would be of particular interest include the character of trade in specific materials; the precise nature of routes taken by traders; French and Spanish trade; the trade from the East into Europe; the role of trade fairs of all types; the activities of itinerant traders; barges and shipping; non-trade in the form of local self-sufficiency; the activities of wholesale/retail merchants (grocers, apothecaries, oil sellers, ironmongers, etc.).

Our aim is to bring together what is, at present, a very widely dispersed body of knowledge and place it in a broad economic and historical context.

If you are interested in contributing a paper to the Conference, please send us an abstract of between 250-500 words by January 31st, 2004. A publication is planned.

Caroline Villers and Susie Nash, Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, LONDON WC2R ORN

Jo Kirby, Scientific Department, National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, LONDON WC2N 5DN