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History of Oil Painting

Essay by   •  December 7, 2010  •  Essay  •  1,023 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,754 Views

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The collective human inclination to indulge into such avenues of individual expressionism as literature, music and the various forms of art is something that has been in existence practically since the existence of man as wandering primate, moving from place to place in search of shelter and sustenance. Indeed, even eras as far back as the Stone Age have yielded, through archeological excavations, such paraphernalia as paintings on the walls of caves as well as on the various, exceptionally primitive utensils and vessels that they used. Painting, perhaps primarily because of the fact that it calls upon the art of visually displaying particular impressions and/or expressions individuals to the artist, has always prevailed as one of the most prolific means of personal expressions and ideologies.

It would, moreover, be relevant to acknowledge that man has always entertained a deep-seated obsession with creating paintings in order to Ð''express the beauty of real places and the triumph of real events' (Winton, 2004).

The evolution of and development of painting [techniques] leading to oil painting

Gradually and eventually, and rather unsurprisingly, when considering it in light of the ever-evolving nature of society, the known techniques of painting began to experience a shift in trends and practices as result of the whole scale advancement and development of man. As man continued to evolve, refining and improving the respective skills known to him in various fields, painting too, began to undergo a significant degree of change. While the tools changed from charcoal, stones and crudely fashioned chisels to actual colors attained via various processes; the manner of implementation, too, changed, bringing humans to experiment with painting on wood, canvas and paper, rather than the bare walls of caves and mountains as had been done in the past.

During what is considered the recorded history of what is widely acknowledged as the era of the Ð''modern man', however, painting, according to historical records, appears to have been adhered to with the use of egg tempera. Contemplate, for instance, the fact that artists were painting with egg tempera long before the realization of the significance of oil paints (PaintersStudio.com, 2004). Egg tempera, which is still used by a practically niche segment of artists, entails Ð''the process of preparing the egg yolk for use as a painting binder, something that has been written about in historical texts' (Larmann, 1995). Gradually, however, as artists began to give in to the inevitable inclination (s) of experimenting with their painting techniques, egg tempera began to grow increasingly irrelevant.

Oil Painting & the course of its development

In their search for newer, brighter ways of displaying the theme (s) of their paintings, this led to the increasing use of oil with tempera, eventually leading to the complete expulsion of egg yolk. Although the painting segment continued to develop with respect to a vast and diverse set of platforms, however; it wasn't until approximately the 13th century that oil painting actually showed any signs of emerging. This is something that is unveiled when considering relevant portions of early Greek history, especially the portions that are relative to the preservation of techniques within the chemistry of medicine and also the chemistry of art. Indeed, it noteworthy to consider that the Greek can be considered as the proverbial pioneers of oil painting. Ð''The use of drying oils is recorded among these recipes, listing walnut oil, poppy oil, hempseed oil, castor oil, and linseed oil as varnishes to seal pictures and protect them from water' (Sanders Studios, 2002).

As the time when by, the use of oils evolved; instead

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