Full contents for this series, with lists of artists considered in each of its articles, and links to the articles.
Starting from Egyptian blue in ancient times, pigments preferred by painters for sky blue have changed repeatedly. Here’s a brief history.
Grisaille – grey underpainting used to set the tone for a finished work – is like underwear, waiting for richly coloured clothes to go on top. Not in these paintings, though.
Well known from language, the scarlet woman should be easy to read in paintings. But all that is scarlet isn’t who you’d expect.
From sacred symbols in a mosaic of Theodora and the Adoration of the Lamb, to roadside watering holes, and the town’s fresh water supply.
From Jan van Eyck to Caillebotte and Claus, these paintings show the view beyond an open doorway, commonly as a means of incorporating a landscape.
From the fur-trimmed cloaks of Jan van Eyck, to the soft folds of Lisa Gherardini’s dress: clothing and fabrics painted in oils.
A staple product of many pro painters in western Europe for over half a millennium, and required by every church and chapel.
In many paintings, depiction of fabrics, textiles and other clothing materials is more challenging and important than that of flesh.
Miniature landscape views embedded in more conventional paintings were not uncommon during the Renaissance, before landscape was established as a genre.