Johannes Gutenberg






The Göttingen Model Book

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The Göttingen Model Book first describes colored patterns for the foliage scrolls and then for checkered backgrounds.

Certain initials and decorative plants follow. The individual stages of the creation of the foliage and checkered backgrounds are described in detail. The same foliage form is recommended throughout. It is a soft raspberry red on the upper side and a deep leaf green for the reverse side of the leaf. Then a light blue and a dark red (minium) are described, likewise a somewhat powdery burnished gold. The dark red is made from brasilwood with the additions of lye, chalk and alum. The green tones are based on mountain green or slate green. Sap green is used for shading. This is won from a plant varnish whose composition can no longer be determined with certainty today.

The gold tone is made from a mixture of mercury, tin, sal ammoniac and sulphur. This gold tone is more reserved than the genuine goldleaf and silver leaf that is used to emphasize and contrast. Additional depth and surface effects are attained with white lead dots or short strokes of white.


You can follow the descriptions of the Model Book in a modern transcription.

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