Companies manufacturing and supplying artist’s materials, from the late Eighteenth Century onward, are known as Artists’ Colourmen. They marked their products, canvases, stretchers, and boards, for instance, with individual and characteristic stamps, stencils, labels and embossed marks. These often carry the company name and address, which can be used to indicate the source and general date of manufacture of the canvas, board or stretcher associated with an artwork. We have compiled the occurrences of these stamps, stencils, labels and marks found on artworks in the National Gallery of Victoria as a resource for study and interest.
We have included in this compilation several cigar manufacturers, who are not artist’s colourmen but whose stencils appear on a group of works where cigar box lids have been recycled and used to paint on. These have a particular relationship with a group of works produced for an exhibition in Melbourne in 1889.
This on-line resource has been made possible by the generous support of the Telematics Course Development Fund.
We are also indebted to Jacob Simon for allowing us to reference the rich on-line archive of historical information on artist’s colourmen provided by the National Portrait Gallery, London.