Joshua Reynolds, who aspired to paint like Rembrandt; JMW Turner who explored colour contrasts and texture; Edgar Degas, who dried his oils before painting.
Acrylics are too chemically complex for artists to prepare themselves, containing packaged blends of polymers with surfactants, and much more.
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.
The evolution of a painting of Dieppe Harbour through pencil sketches and to watercolour rough, and some problems of his oil techniques.
With a reputation for being an impulsive and rapid painter, evidence from IR reflectography shows how this painting evolved as it was being made.
Two paintings of simple everyday domestic scenes were not as quickly made as might appear. Series of preparatory sketches show more.
Oils were king until the 1960s, when acrylic paints became readily available. How do they differ from oils, though?
Since the decline of egg tempera and fresco in the Renaissance, oil paints have predominated. They rely on drying oils as their binder, which give them longevity and versatility.
A summary chronology of the major milestones in the history of oil painting, with copious illustrations from the masters.
Finally, we start to understand how oil paint works – just as Modernist painters seem determined to stop it from working at all.