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This paint is probably completely unique, there are other Lead Whites available but this is made in the same manner in which Flake White was made in the Renaissance and I know of nobody else who is producing it this way.
It is not just of historical importance the bottom line is this makes a better paint, it is made with flakes (hence flake white) of Lead Carbonate produced by stacking sheets of lead over a strong alkaline substance. These flakes when ground in oil have an irregular particle size leading to greater light refraction and a luminescence which is particular to genuine Flake White. Nowadays the few remaining Lead Whites are generally made with powdered, industrially produced Lead Carbonate from China and this essential characteristic of Flake White is lost. This paint is the real thing.
It is a subtle beast and after using Titanium white it will take a slight adjustment as it doesn't have the crazy tinting power of Titanium White, but the rewards are there and the effects the great masters of painting have achieved are there for the taking.
The oil is Walnut, which is inherently lighter than linseed and in turn makes the paint lighter. The way it handles is immense, we are straight back into the category where words can't do justice, flowing, creamy, it has body.
If you want to buy one 'special' white, this is the one to choose.
The use of walnut oil in paint can be traced back even further than that of linseed. When 15th century artists began to add oil to their tempera colours it was walnut oil that seemed the obvious choice. Jan van Eyck in Flanders and Antonello da Messina in Italy both knew of its handling properties; from that time on it was widely used by just about all the great artists.
It probably become replaced by linseed oil because of price, it certainly wasn't due to inferiority.
As it is lead paint it should be treated with respect, and sensible studio practice should be maintained (don't let it near children, wear gloves, don't eat and use it, don't wipe onto clothes).
|Colour Index:||Pigment White 1 (77597)|
|Chemical Name:||Basic Lead Carbonate|
|Hiding Power:||Moderately High|