Gesso

A thick, water-base paint commonly formed of plaster, chalk, or gypsum bound together with a glue. Gesso is used in manuscript illumination as a ground for some gilding processes, since it forms a raised surface ideal for burnishing and tooling (see Tooled). Methods of gesso preparation varied.


Michelle Brown
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Michelle Brown, Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts (Malibu, CA: J. Paul Getty Museum in association with the British Library, c1994).