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Oil Painting: An Art History Revelation

            "Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes." Oil has been a major medium in art realm for centuries. Famous pieces such as Titian's Rape of Europa utilized oils in pigments to portray the subject of the piece. Artists used oil paintings as a use for decoration houses in the early fifth century. It was not until the early fifteenth century that artists began to adapt to using oil paints as a primary medium. Oil paintings typically include pigments and linseed oil which helped impact the masterpieces of Jan van Eyck and Giovanni Bellini and are still prominent and influential to the techniques and works of artists today.
             In the early fifteenth century, artists were introduced to an innovative way of painting. Before oil paints were popular, artists used different mediums, such as acrylics, fresco, and egg tempera. Acrylic is another type of paint that many artists used because of its capability to merge. Fresco is used for painting portraits on plaster. Marcia Hall states that while the plaster was still wet, an artist would paint on the plaster using a pigment, color, which was dissolved in water (1). Egg tempera is a painting done with eggs and quick brush strokes due to the fact that it would dry rapidly. Compared to other mediums, oils were more flexible for artists who wanted to blend their work. The oils in each color would allow the pigment to stay moist longer and allow the artist to move the paint around before it dried out.
             Modern artists have the advantage "'to work with colors produced by an industry which has spent two centuries getting better and better and better, while most people in this world have to work with things that have got worse and worse'" (Finlay 12). Scientists and artists had to chemically make their own colors before there were factories and industries to produce a faultless, dependable color. Although oil paintings date back to the early fifteenth century, colors have dated back to over fifteen thousand years ago.

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