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.
In America, geographic isolation and growing freedom led to the craft of oil painting being smothered by artistic intent. Here are some results.
Oil sketches and studies became accepted as works of art. But not all Impressionist paintings have survived as well as they should.
Turner’s innovation was driven by his desire to explore colour contrasts and texture. But it led him to lapses in technique which have damaged his paintings.
Putting oil paint into bladders allowed painters to take it out for use outdoors. But adding some media caused paintings to age badly and fall apart.
His later paintings in particular were the first major works to exploit the visual effects produced by surface texture. How?
Rubens’ methods were extensively documented by a contemporary. Do they reveal or conceal any dark secrets?
The advent of wet-in-wet, canvas supports, fewer layers, impasto, and visible brushstrokes.
Did Antonello da Messina learn to paint with oils in Flanders, and bring back a revolution to Italy?