The History of Art And The Curious Lives of Famous Painters


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 The Invention of Oil Painting
The origins of oil painting has been generally assigned to the year 1415 but it was being used by Northern European artists at least 150 years prior and in Asia for centuries. Jan van Eyck and Hubert van developed a stable varnish based on linseed oil as the binder of mineral pigments. The van Eyck's tinkering and perfecting oil paint formulas was a breakthrough for painters in Europe. 
According to author Ernest Gilliat-Smith, "For centuries artists all over Europe were vainly endeavoring to remedy this defect, and it was not until the opening of the fourteen hundreds that the problem was at last solved, but long before that period oil paint had been successfully employed for decorative purposes. We know that the sculptor Wuillaume du Gardin made use of it for his statues as early as 1341, and when Hubert van Eyck first came to Bruges at the close of the fourteenth or at the opening of the fifteenth century the practice seems to have been generally adopted. It has long been known that Jan van Eyck was an enlumineur des statues, and a document recently discovered in the archives of Ghent makes it quite certain that his elder brother Hubert followed the same calling; what more likely then, than that the idea should have struck him of painting his pictures with the same pigment with which he had been in the habit of decorating stone? But whatever may have led to his great discovery, certain it is, that the day on which he made it was the birthday of modern art."

Italian Renaissance painters further enhanced oil paints by adding bees wax and other concoctions.

Important Words, People, Phrases, Characteristics related to the Northern Renaissance Art Movement -  allegorical painting,  rebirth, invention of oil painting,   Hieronymus Bosch, Limbourg Brothers, Desiderius Erasmus,  Robert Campin, Jan Van Eyck, Jean Fouquet, Albrecht Dürer, Johannes Gutenberg, Johann Reuchlin, Martin Luther, rise of the merchant class,  Protestant Reformation, Calvinisim, glazing, impasto, scriptorium, illuminator, invention of the printing press, woodcuts, engravings, Antwerp School, Guild of Saint Luke, commerce, Flemish School, Northern Europe, Antwerp School, Flanders, Bruges, renewed interest in classical learning,  mythological scenes, genre painting, landscapes, portraits, moralizing overtones, human vices, lust, paradise, spirituality, piousness, living a simple life, reformHuman Reasoning,  tradesmen at work, idyllic scenes of peasantsplaying games, feasting,  linear perspective, \Heliocentric Theory, humour, satire,  spiritually significant, illuminated manuscriptidealized biblical themes, scriptorium, emotion, illuminator,  iconoclast, Age of Discovery, Virgin and Child, axonometric drawing, curiosity about the natural world,  realistic use of colours and lightOld Testament stories, Gospel parables, The Blackdeath,  Christian symbolism


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Ref.The Story of Bruges by Ernest Gilliat-Smith