The evolution of a painting of Dieppe Harbour through pencil sketches and to watercolour rough, and some problems of his oil techniques.
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 Hobbema in 1663 to Sisley in 1884, here are views of the canals of Europe carrying commercial traffic, and in their later decline.
Friedrich, Turner, Palmer and Bonnard are among the artists shown, with surprises by courtesy of Cézanne.
Painters paid little attention to the form of near-breaking regular waves until the mid-1700s. Japanese art later changed Western painting, with a single print by Hokusai.
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.
With a binder of gum arabic, watercolours came into use in the Renaissance, and have steadily increased in popularity.
Between 1774-79 he painted views of the mountains, glaciers and waterfalls of the Alps. And he even made oil sketches in front of the motif.
Paintings from 1750 on didn’t show ‘Christian’ sibyls, but returned to their classical meaning. Then came Turner’s marvellous narrative landscapes.
He became the most influential critic of painting in Britain, providing the Pre-Raphaelites with strong support. But that proved capricious, and eventually destructive to landscape painting.