Precipitated art is a work of art, usually a portrait, that appears on canvas without the use of human hands or brushes. It also includes images that appear on cards.
For most spirit paintings, a new, clean canvas or paper is stretched over a 24-inch by 36-inch or a 24-inch by 30-inch wood frame. “Pots” of paint with all the colors of the spectrum are placed nearby. No brushes are used or are in the room or area where the seance is taking place. Often, the person coming to receive a portrait of their loved bring brings their own canvas. The images of the person in spirit appear on the canvas over a period of 15 or 20 minutes.
In most instances no similar photo likeness was ever taken of the person in spirit, precluding the possibility of pre-painting and switching the canvas. Also, color photography had not then been invented, but the eye and hair colors were accurate.
Art experts have examined the portraits and cannot explain the medium used. It is not paint, ink, pastel, or any known substance. It looks as though it has been applied with a modern airbrush and has the consistency of the powder on a butterfly’s wings.
The most prominent artists were the Bang sisters and the Campbell brothers. The painting at the top of this page was produced before a large crowd of people at Camp Chesterfield, Indiana, by the Bang Sisters. They only touched the sides of the canvas while the painting appeared in stages.
The video that follows is a tour of the gallery of spirit paintings housed at Camp Chesterfield. Most of the paintings created by spirit in the presence of the Bangs Sisters and Campbell brothers are in the hands of the families for whom they were produced.
More information about precipitated art is at www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzU7hFLZdhc