Abstract history of oil painting techniques

The oldest civilization in the Mediterranean region, including Rome, Greece and Egypt (6th century BC – 4th century) knew how to mix the colors found in nature with beeswax (encaustic). ) to draw. From the end of the ancient Roman period (4th century) to the beginning of the Renaissance (15th century), that ancient technique was gradually replaced by oil paint and tempera (mixed egg yolk color). Initially, in Greece and Italy people use olive oil, the downside is that it is very long dry.

1) The most recent research results show that oil paints were used to paint from the 5th and 7th centuries in Western Afghanistan (12 out of 50 caves in Bamiyan). Scientists from three research centers in Japan, France and the United States used different methods to analyze hundreds of test samples. They found that the paintings on the cave walls of Bamiyan were colored, including vermiNion (mercury sulfide) and lapis lazuli (near Bamyian with lapis lazuli mines), mixed with poppy seed oil and walnut oil (nuts). walnut tree), with a multi-layered drawing technique, even colored, similar to the later medieval oil painting technique [2]. From there, it seems that oil painting techniques have spread to the West along the Silk Road.

2) Theophilus monk (~ 1070 – 1125) was the publisher of the first book referring to oil painting techniques entitled “Schedula diversarum artium” (Latin, Catalog of various arts) or “De diversibus artibus.” (Latin, About the Different Arts) (about 1125). The book is written in Latin, consisting of 3 volumes. Episode 1 covers how to create and use works such as oil paints, ink, and painting techniques. Volume 2 on the production of stained glass and the technique of drawing on glass, Volume 3 on the technique of jewelery, and the construction of the harp, was the first book in history to mention oil paint. 19th and 20th books were translated into 9 languages ​​(English, French, Polish, Hungarian, German, Italian, Japanese, Romanian, and Russian).


3) Cennino Cennini (about 1370 – 1440) (Italian) wrote “ll libro del’arte” “(Artbook) (about 1437). The book consists of 6 chapters, 128 sections, detailed explanations of colored beads, brushes, wooden boards, stickers on wooden boards, mural art, tips, liner drawing, tempera egg coating, painting techniques oil paints, in particular, in chapters 4, sections 91 and 92, he describes fairly carefully how to make flax oil on fire and use the sun. He also described how to crush ultramarine with linseed oil, beeswax, and mastic resins.

4) In “The Life of the Best Painters, Sculptors and Architects” (Le vite de piu eccelenti pittori, scultori e architetori) [4], Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) argues that painting techniques The oil that we draw to this day was created by Jan Van Eyck (1395 – 1441) (or John of Bruges) (pronounced: [yan van aik]) around 1410. This caused a great misconception that Jan Van Eyck was the inventor of oil paint. In fact, Van Eyck’s true accomplishment was that he had created a varnish (vernis) based on a film-based oil (mostly flax) that used as a binder for colored particles. His secret was as simple as this: He mixed the colors with glass beads, bone char, and linseed oil and boiled for a long time until he got a solid compound. Flaxseed oil makes drying colors much faster. Van Eyck only published this secret in 1440 shortly before his death.

The most famous illustration of Van Eyck’s technique (Flemish or Flamand technique) is the painting “Giovanni Arfnolfini and pretend”. Van Eyck still uses mineral pigments like Italian painters, but linseed oil has made the colors more vibrant, the color looks clearer because the seeds are suspended in the linseed oil, creating an effect. optics, and set a standard in painting that no other painting material has survived to this day.
After Van Eyck, oil painting techniques have been continuously developed:
– Antonello da Messina (1430 – 1479) mixed lead oxide with oil paint to dry faster. In essence it is walnut seed oil (walnut) boiled with lead oxide.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.