At the start of the 15th century, Italian easel paintings used egg tempera. By the end, Leonardo da Vinci was pushing the technical boundaries using oil paint.
One of the great technical challenges in painting, glassware has been used by young and aspiring artists to demonstrate their skills. Antonello and Cranach to Liotard’s pastels.
He painted a succession of fine works after his return from Venice, including superb portraits, Christ at the Column, and finally Saint Sebastian.
His time in Venice brought a succession of masterpieces, including the large San Cassiano altarpiece, a Salvator Mundi, and Virgin Annunciate which were highly influential.
Tintoretto to a friend, Antonello’s cartellini, Alma-Tadema’s dedication of a wedding present in some graffiti, and some mysterious Venetians.
Vasari claimed that he was trained by Jan van Eyck, but he probably learnt under an Italian artist in Milan before becoming the first Master in oils.
From fresco to varnish: a succinct summary of all the different media which have been used in painting, with links to more detailed articles.
From the funerary portraits of Fayum, through the work of Jan van Eyck, to Leonardo, Rubens and Botticelli, many of the greatest paintings are on wood panels.
Was painting ‘invented’ by the maid of Corinth? What is ‘shadow play’, and how have painters extended it to religious works? A short history of shadows in painting.
Painters of the early northern Renaissance founded modern Western landscape painting, and developed the first examples of staffage.