Described as a book “that deserves to be in every school, university and bookcase of any serious artist”, The Artists' Brush – World History, Theory & Practice by Dr. Philip Bayliss Brown, is aimed at artists, calligraphers, archaeologists, historians, educators, teachers and students of arts and history.
In his foreword, Angel of the North sculptor Sir Antony Gormley RA enthuses: “This impressive study of the brush in all its multiple forms is exhaustively examined in this extraordinary piece of scholarship which, in its diversity, becomes a celebration of human creativity…a panoply of human inventiveness as interesting to anthropologists as to art historians and to artists themselves."
The author examines the evolution and importance of the artists’ brush over history and geography. Extensively researched and referenced, it details the development and use of the brush from deep history to modern times, placing the brush in the context of the cultures in which it was used.
Richly illustrated, it describes works on rock, walls (murals and frescoes), ceramics, textiles, panels (stone, wood), codices, calligraphic manuscripts and other peinture d'objets [painted objects]. Its chapters on brush anatomy, physics and mark making are essential reading for any artist or historian.
The history of art is re-told placing the brush at its centre: a tool, which in the hand of an artist, is responsible for some of the greatest and defining insignia of mankind. Indeed, the brush is emblematic of Homo sapiens’ ability to have wisdom and symbolic thought, and to create representational art, write and communicate. This book sheds light on historic artistic practices in Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas that are frequently overlooked and under-reported in academic literature.
Professor Paul Fieldsend-Danks, Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Fine Art, Arts at University Plymouth, adds: “This book opens our eyes, bringing to light arguably one of the most important instruments in creative expression - the artists’ brush. This fascinating book provides valuable scholarship in the history, manufacture, and physics of the humble brush, and interrogates the elegance of this tool.”
Published by The Cloister House Press ISBN-10 1913460738, the book is available in paperback and hardback, and can be pre-ordered on Amazon from 30th November for delivery by 12th December 2023.
FACTFILE: Philip Bayliss Brown studied medicine at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London. He pursued a career in General Practice coupled with a series of Medical Informatic academic appointments specialising in the development of computerised health care ontologies for use in electronic medical records. He is a lifetime scholar of historical art techniques and, following retirement from clinical practice, obtained an MA in Fine Art and trained in portraiture in London, Salisbury and Florence.
He has had several solo shows in the UK and Italy and also joint exhibitions elsewhere in Europe, the USA and China. He has been shortlisted for a number of awards including the Signature Art Prize (2015), Deutsche Bank Award (2017) and the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize (2019).
His painting of the Last Supper, ‘The Weight of Blood’ was long-listed for the National Portrait Gallery BP award and formed the focus of a solo exhibition in Westminster Cathedral, London. His passion for the subject matter, experience as an academic writer and a practising painter, has serendipitously placed him in the fortuitous position to author this definitive account of The Artist’s Brush. Philip lives with his wife and dog in Norfolk, England and Umbria, Italy.