Until 1880, varnishing oil paintings was standard practice, but three completely different types of varnish were used. A journey through names like sandarac and colophony.
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.
Shepherds and shepherdesses painted in stories, from classical myth, through the Bible and Christ’s nativity, to epic poetry, including Milton’s Paradise Lost.
Paintings showing women spinning from around 1000 CE to the early 20th century, by Eakins, Tanner, Courbet, van Gogh, Breton, and others,
From Jan van Eyck’s trompe l’oeil, through Tanner’s fiery cross, to the modern young Polish woman of Jacek Malczewski.
Narrative works by Corinth, Klimt, and others; figurative work by the same two, Schiele and Munch.
In the hands, and brushes, of great artists, a religious set-piece becomes a succession of marvellous and highly innovative paintings.
From the 1870s, Salome became the central figure in the story, and increasingly became the femme fatale: beautiful, sexy, and dangerous to know.
Later paintings were largely religious in subject, but he continued to control colour and explore the effects of light.
The first African-American painter to achieve international recognition. Worked in France, now largely forgotten in Europe.