In case anyone want's to know I recieved this info with the jar of varnish, I think it is pretty interesting:
The term "Vernice Liquida" does not apply to one single recipe, but to a way of thinking about and making drying-oil varnishes. It dates back to at least the Byzantine era. In Roman and early Christian times the words "vernix" and later "vernice" indicated a resin. The usual translation of the term "vernice liquida" into "liquid varnish", is therefore incorrect. A more meaningful interpretation of the term would be "liquid resin".
This explains why contrary to being very fluid, vernice liquida type varnishes were often of a fairly high viscosity. These kind of varnishes were made in many different varieties and qualities for even more different purposes.
Vernice Liquida type varnishes were very well suited for the at the time often practised method of application by hand (pad printing method) This however does not mean that they could not be applied by brush also.
The differences between traditionally made Vernice Liquida type varnishes and later oil varnishes are primarily caused by differences in: the preparation of raw ingredients, recipe formulation and manufacture criteria. When properly made, Vernice Liquida type varnishes have good flow characteristics and are self levelling to a high degree. They will form very durable yet flexible and "warm" feeling varnish films with a soft gloss.
Towards the end of the 17th centure, the general taste in woodwork finishes was however changing to hard and glossy (no doubt influenced by fashionable Japan lacquered artefacts) This "progress" combined with the slower drying rate and extra work involved in preparing ingredients for Vernice Liquida type varnishes, caused a general discontinuation of their use in the middle of the 18th century.
Recipes for Vernice Liquida abound in manuscripts from all over Europe until the late 17th century.
These are invaribly not literal descriptions for making these varnishes because all lack the essential "givens" of historical practise. During the 17th century Vernice Liqida type varnishes could still be bought from most apothecia in Northern Italy. Which is what several historical texts advise their contemporary readers to do.
Grounds that will show the typical opaque ivory white fluorescence of classical grounds under UV light, can be created with Vernice Liquida Commune.
These initially almost colorless varnishes will acquire a golden tinge through the natural yellowing of the varnish film in 2-5 years time. When the varnish (ground) is in direct contact with primed wood this efect will be stronger.
The yellowing of the varnish film will intensify the Fluorescent color of these varnishes.
Vernice Liquida Comune - High quality uncolored sandarac and linseed oil based general varnish.
the specification "Comune" originally indicated that the varnish contained "common amber", a regional name for sandarac. At a later date it was also used for more ordinary pine resin based varnishes.
This info was given to me by Magister varnish along with hand written details on how to apply it to Egg tempera.
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