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Grant number like: RQ-249842-16

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Award Number Grant ProgramAward RecipientProject TitleAward PeriodApproved Award Total
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RQ-249842-16Research Programs: Scholarly Editions and TranslationsColumbia UniversityCraft Techniques and Knowledge Systems in a 16th-Century Artist's Manuscript: An Open-Access Critical Edition and Translation10/1/2016 - 9/30/2020$320,000.00PamelaH.SmithMarc SmithColumbia UniversityNew YorkNY10027-7922USA2016Renaissance HistoryScholarly Editions and TranslationsResearch Programs32000003199990

Preparation of an online open-access critical edition and translation of a 16th-century manuscript of an artist's recipes for painting and metalworking techniques and observations on scientific processes. See website at

The transcription, English translation, and open-access digital critical edition of a late 16th-century manuscript containing techniques, recipes, and experimental notes, written in French (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, Ms. Fr. 640). This exceptionally detailed and self-reflective how-to text includes unprecedented information on techniques, materials, and observations from an artisan's workshop. It sheds light on the day-to-day creative process of the 16th-century craftsperson, and the acquisition and transmission of skilled practice. The edition’s critical commentary will demonstrate the continuity between the craft workshop and scientific laboratory at a pivotal moment in European history when artists began to write down their practices, and their methods provided models for the emerging experimental culture of a new philosophy—the nascent modern science. How-to texts like this manuscript gave rise to the culture of practical knowledge that underpinned the Scientific Revolution.