Skip to main content
Select Source:

Painting

PAINTING

PAINTING. Renaissance artists broke decisively from their medieval predecessors by looking to nature as their guide in the art of painting. Through observation and imitation, artists strove to construct a lucid depiction of their world. Mathematical principles were applied to establish a canon of proportions, aided immeasurably by the study of antique, classical sculpture. Painters experimented with perspectivethe technique of depicting forms and their spatial relationships on a flat surface to create the illusion that the viewer is looking through a windowand brought it to ever greater levels of perfection.

In terms of technique, these illusionistic achievements were aided by the growing use of oil over tempera. The oil medium allowed the painter to apply pigment in a nuanced and fluid manner, with the added advantage that the transparency of the oil allowed for layering of color to describe light and shadow. Painting on wood panel continued to be popular, especially in northern Europe. Canvas, however, was growing in favor as it was easier to size and prepare for painting. By the sixteenth century, some artists exploited the weave of coarse canvases to accentuate the reflection of light and the appearance of brushwork, as did painters in Venice. Copper, slate, and marble were also adopted as supports. Artists appreciated their ultrasmooth surfaces and their ability to be fashioned into circular formats. These strictly pictorial skills were complemented by the growing sophistication of artists in animating figures through the use of gesture and expression. Painters increasingly looked to the devices of poetry for inspiration in creating an expressive pictorial language.

During the first three decades of the sixteenth century in Italy, referred to historically as the High Renaissance, the practice of observing and imitating the natural world expanded to include the emulation and idealization of the artist's experience of nature. Raphael (born Raffaello Sanzio), Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo Buonarrotti are the artists associated with the apogee of these developments in central Italy and Rome, and renowned for interpreting these achievements with their own distinct vision. The pictorial conventions of this fertile period of art established a classical ideal of beauty that endured for centuries. Florentine artists in particular regarded drawing, with its emphasis on line, as fundamental to the structure of a painting. In addition, drawing, or disegno, was believed to be the direct conduit through which an artist's intellectual concept for a painting was expressed. Disegno thus assumed an intellectual as well as practical importance.

Venice too was a highly important center of painting in the sixteenth century. Venetian painters adopted a practice emphasizing the sensual qualities of color and light. Brushwork or facture was paramount to these results. Titian (born Tiziano Vecellio), along with Paolo Veronese and Tintoretto (born Jacopo Robusti), are artists associated with creating this painterly idiom where subjects are treated with a breadth and liberty of execution. This intuitive and painterly approach, in which color serves to structure the painting, was known as colore. The controversy between Venetian colore and central Italian disegno was already acknowledged by the artists and theorists of the sixteenth century. These two fundamentally distinct ways of seeing and reproducing the world in paint, one regarded as rational, the other as sensual and emotional, would compete for authority repeatedly in the theory and practice of painting.

By the end of the 1520s, a new style of painting, which has come to be known as mannerism (from the Italian maniera ), presented itself. Mannerism was characterized by an appreciation for artistic invention and novelty. Artists employed charged, expressive colors in unusual combinations, elongated and unnatural proportions for the description of human form, and favored crowded, spatially compressed compositions. There are two prevailing interpretations of this style. One views mannerism as a reaction to the political and social instability in Europe at this time, including the Sack of Rome by King Charles V in 1527 and the trauma of the Reformation. Another interpretation sees mannerist artists pursuing a continuing refinement of the ideals of the Renaissance that became increasingly stylized and removed from nature in inspiration. Mannerism can perhaps be defined as the first, highly self-conscious art movement of the modern era. Jacopo da Pontormo from Florence and Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola of Parma, called Il Parmigianino, worked in this style. In northern Europe, subjects of an esoteric, titillating, and erotic nature were especially popular with mannerist painters, notably Joachim Wtewael from Utrecht and Haarlem-born Cornelis van Haarlem.

THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY

The seventeenth century witnessed major changes in the visual arts caused by a confluence of significant social, political, cultural, and economic events, which in turn contributed to the development of new styles of painting, often categorized into national schools. However, the pictorial devices European artists employed for structuring their paintings shared many characteristics that together suggested a period style historians called the baroque. For example, artists embraced naturalism with a new vigor. Bold experiments were carried out in the depiction of space, light, and the suggestion of time, all in the service of creating a pictorial illusion. Palettes deepened, assuming the warmer, saturated colors of autumn.

Still life, landscape, and genre themes were embraced as worthy subjects independent of religious and historical painting. Scientific discoveries, trade with the East, and treasures from the New World provoked innovative ways of seeing and representing the world. States of mind, particularly transcendence, emotions such as fear, pain, and pleasure, all challenged artists' descriptive abilities. This dynamic period of pictorial innovation was driven by the desire to appeal directly to the senses, to close the gap between the illusion of the painting and the living world of the spectator.

Italy. The Catholic Church, which set out to reform itself in response to the Reformation, played an important role in the creation of this new baroque style of painting in Italy. Religious painting, as the visual manifestation of church doctrine, was also subject to reform. Two cardinals in particular, Gabriele Paleotti of Bologna and Federigo Borromeo of Milan, became actively involved in educating artists about the proper interpretation of sacred imagery. Artists took up the standard to create paintings that were clear, emotive, and illustrative of the new Christian piety. The great reformers of Italian painting at the cusp of the seventeenth century were Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, from the town of the same name in Lombardy, and Annibale Carracci of Bologna. Caravaggio's influence was immediate and profound albeit short-lived. Carracci created a new style that established the standards for baroque painting through the next century.

Caravaggio revolutionized painting by depicting powerfully naturalistic scenes, inspired by everyday reality, where neither figures nor place were idealized. Overtly dismissive of traditional pictorial conventions, he was considered by his peers to be what we would call in today's language "avant garde." Supper at Emmaus (16011602, National Gallery, London) illustrates his direct and clear narrative structure enlivened by the dramatic, almost severe contrast of light and dark. Working from posed models, Caravaggio imbues his paintings with a vitality and naturalism that give them the impression of tableaux vivants. Settings are spare and participants common in type, suggestive more of genre painting than a religious episode of miraculous revelation.

Bold perspective devices implicate the viewer in the drama. In the immediate foreground, the edge of a realistically depicted basket of fruit sits partly off the table. One apostle's sharply foreshortened hand appears to reach out of the picture plane into the spectator's space. The intimacy of presentation invites an experience of surprise akin to that of the apostles as Christ reveals himself to them. In this regard, Caravaggio was a superior painter of Counter-Reformation subjects and a key innovator of the baroque style. So great and widespread was Caravaggio's influence over the next two decades that his many followers in France, Holland, and Spain have come to be known as Caravaggisti.

Carracci is credited with initiating the reform of painting in Italy and thereby creating a new and accessible pictorial language. His approach was to study nature, antique sculpture, and the achievements of his High Renaissance forebears. To this practice he added the theory of imitation and emulation, drawing on each category's perfections. With a sense of true historic awareness, Annibale synthesized the divergent regional styles in sixteenth-century Italy, including the competing aesthetic of central Italian disegno and Venetian colore. In so doing, he reshaped, with clarity and vigor, the great tradition of Italian painting and provided his contemporaries and followers with a means to achieve their own styles by using this method.

Carracci's fresco decoration for the Farnese Gallery in Rome (15971604) exemplified the new style in which he reinvented the classicizing idiom of history painting with wit and charm. His detailed preparatory drawings were of great pedagogical importance to contemporary artists for they indicated the necessity of drawing as professional practice, particularly in the composition of ambitious history paintings. The baroque illusionism introduced by Carracci reached its full potential a generation later in the ceiling fresco of the Triumph of the Name of Jesus, painted by Giovanni Battista Gaulli in 16761679 at the Church of Il Gesù in Rome. Here the period taste for spectacle is realized through painted illusions of infinity. Celestial figures appear to descend from heaven's vault above into the spectator's space within the church, blurring the boundaries between the real and unreal.

Rome became a mecca for foreign artists who came to absorb its riches and return home to spread the new style. Secular and ecclesiastic commissions burgeoned. Sophisticated connoisseurs welcomed this new wave of artistic experiment and ferment. Two French painters, Nicolas Poussin from Les Andelys and Claude Lorrain (born Claude Gellée) from Nancy, enjoyed just such patronage. Though they spent the majority of their careers in Italy, they profoundly influenced the direction of seventeenth-century painting in their native France.

France. In France, patronage flowed from the court that cultivated a strict unity of style and content to extol the virtues of the monarchy. King Louis XIV (ruled 16431715), known as the Sun King, established in 1648 the Académie Française, which eventually institutionalized all art education and practice. A hierarchy of subjects suitable for an artist to paint was established, with history painting regarded as the highest form of intellectual expression. Genre and still life painting were relegated to the bottom of the list. Rationality, order, and harmony became hallmarks of the academic French style. Its champion was Poussin. Having experienced the heady mix of styles current in Rome, Poussin immersed himself in classical studies of art and literature. It was the consummate relationship of theory and practice in his art, based on composition and drawing, for which he was most admired. Great intellectual effort underlies the construction of Poussin's paintings, where every motif is calculated and planned and nothing is extraneous. Carefully placed vertical and horizontal accents lead the eye to the subject or serve as stately backdrops for its unfolding. Poussin's deeply reflective pictures, such as The Finding of Moses (1638, Louvre, Paris), are infused with the spirit of classicism in which the expression and mood of the subject are rendered with calm and grandeur.

Claude Lorrain, along with Poussin, created the tradition of the ideal landscape, a practice that endured until the nineteenth century. He specialized in depictions of an idyllic Roman countryside in which pastoral and biblical themes are presented in a quiet and timeless manner. Lorrain's gifts as an illuminist are evident in the range of naturalistic light effects he produced. The sun, the source of light in his compositions, is placed just beyond the horizon to suggest a particular time of day. The frequent addition of ancient ruins in his compositions contributes to the impression of time and its passing. Above all, it is the beauty of nature that seems to be his subject.

The Netherlands. Violent political and religious conflicts during the sixteenth century fractured the Low Countries into two nations, a Protestant Dutch Republic in the north and a Catholic Flanders in the south that remained under Spanish political control. Despite these harrowing events, the two countries contributed mightily and imaginatively to the history of European painting in the seventeenth century. Flemish painters combined the dynamism of baroque art with the realism and primary palette that had characterized Netherlandish painting since Jan van Eyck. Peter Paul Rubens, from Antwerp, took these strengths of his homeland and combined them with an Italian love of form and composition acquired during eight years in Italy. His exuberant personal style, based on keen observation, a sensual, robust nature, and a deeply humanistic outlook, is joyous and uplifting. Rubens's confident brushwork contributed mightily to the vitality of his figures.

A devout Catholic, Rubens articulated the philosophy of the Counter-Reformation by creating works of immediacy, power, and beauty to strengthen the worshiper's faith and encourage devout conduct. Thus, Rubens portrayed in Saint Ignatius Loyola (16211622, Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena) the founder of the Society of Jesus as a Christian hero, caught up in a moment of rapture. Rubens was not limited to Catholic subjects, as he created dazzling allegories for sovereigns throughout Europe as well as portraits of great psychological depth.

Dutch painting presents a significantly different character and style from contemporary European painting. Because of its strict Protestant ethos that viewed religious imagery as idolatrous, Dutch art eschewed overtly religious themes in favor of a rich variety of subjects inspired by the immediate environment, including landscape, still life, portraiture, and genre. Effectively separate from the Italian model of patronage, where artists worked primarily through religious or noble commissions, Dutch artists participated in an open market. Holland's prosperous international trade spawned a vital middle class, which sought to appoint its homes with art that was familiar and comfortable, that inspired pride and was appreciated for its verisimilitude. Style varied from the fine, almost scientifically descriptive paintings of Gerrit Dou to the more vigorous, impastoed expression of Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn and his followers where the process of painting was evident. Recent scholarship has concerned itself with the degree to which Dutch painting was strictly mimetic or emblematic, that is, a vehicle for hidden symbolism that the consumer would have recognized.

Dutch painters tended to specialize in one genre but frequently made innovative contributions. Frans Hals of Haarlem, known for his energetic brushwork and unforgettable character portraits of smiling figures, brought a new look to the commemorative group portrait in paintings such as the Banquet of the Officers of the St. George Militia Company (16261627, Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem), where the scene is animated by the participants' gestures and expressions, and the dynamic accents of colored sashes and drapery. Occupations, leisure time, and domestic episodes provided endless inspiration to the witty pictorial observations of Leiden-born artists Jan Steen and Gabriel Metsu. Their Delft contemporary, Jan Vermeer, one of the greatest artists of the seventeenth century, took an approach to genre painting that was more about the art of painting than its anecdotal descriptiveness. Vermeer's use of camera obscura may have contributed to the simplification of form, light, and color that characterizes his carefully composed interiors in which the subject performs a task with quiet concentration.

Pictorially, the United Netherlands was well served by its landscape painters who sympathetically depicted its variety of dunes, canals, seascapes, and cityscapes. Jacob van Ruisdael from Haarlem created vast panoramas with emphatic horizons. In View of Alkmaar (16701675, Museum of Fine Art, Boston), banks of hedges slicing through the landscape are backlit by the sun, creating strong contrasts of light and shade and a palpable illusion of space and depth.

Rembrandt, the greatest Dutch painter, was devoted equally to painting, printmaking, and drawing. His continuous practice of experimentation with each medium enabled him to surmount previous limitations, both practical and theoretical. From the 1630s and 1640s onward Rembrandt was the premier portraitist of Amsterdam. He captured the physical characteristics of his sitters, and his skillful manipulation of light added an expressive value and suggested mood. His keen sensitivity to human psychology manifested itself in his thematic works as well. In his mature paintings, which often depicted Old Testament stories, such as Bathsheba (1654, Louvre, Paris), he favored presentations that were highly naturalistic, unidealized, and intimate. Settings were minimal and extraneous details eliminated. He used light sparingly and dramatically to suggest the internal, mental state of the subject. More than simply presenting a pictorial narrative, Rembrandt managed to convey the complexity and pathos of the moment as it occurred to his subject. As he matured, he adopted an increasingly monochromatic palette with a thick, layered paint application that called attention to the process of painting and served to better express his individuality and creativity.

Spain. By the seventeenth century Spain wielded political power over Flanders and much of Italy. The ensuing diplomatic ties exposed Spanish artists to artistic exchange. Royal and private collections grew and provided examples of artistic developments elsewhere in Europe but above all from Italy. At the same time, Spain was a highly conservative Catholic country, and its zealous participation in the Counter-Reformation witnessed the birth of punitive tribunals such as the Inquisition. Such a social and cultural underpinning was not conducive to revolutionary picture making. Nevertheless, artists including Francisco de Zurbarán, Diego Rodriguez de Silva Velázquez, and Bartolomé Esteban Murillo created work of great feeling while drawing on the contemporary concerns associated with baroque art, especially that of involving the viewer in the subject of the painting and appealing to the emotions. Here, the Spanish predilection for intense physicalityan earthy quality with overtones of mortalityplayed an important role.

Spanish religious sentiment found significant expression in the austere religious mysticism of Zurbarán. Whether depicting saints in ecstasy or a simple still life, the resulting image was intense and realistic. He embraced the descriptive technique and pictorial devices of Caravaggio, placing his saints in dark, nondescript spaces where the strong, focused light accentuates plastic form and describes tactile values. The compelling emotional intensity of his paintings appealed to the monastic orders of Seville who provided the majority of his commissions and viewed his works as pictorial expressions of their religious vocation. Later in the century, Murillo's engaging and innovative approach to religious subject matter gave a more sensual and tender expression to Catholic art. He specialized in visionary scenes and images of the Virgin in which her beauty and compassion were stressed. He adopted a loose painting technique and lightened the dark Spanish palette. In his late work, transparent glazes were applied to enrich the effects of light.

Velázquez's early works in his native Seville, such as An Old Woman Cooking Eggs (1618, National Gallery, Edinburgh), were boldly naturalistic and palpably three-dimensional, enhanced by his use of strong contrasts of light and shadow. His career was tightly bound to the Spanish monarchy. Two voyages to Italy, in 16291631 and 16491651, made a great impression on him and had a liberating effect on his style as he adopted a freer paint application that, while it acknowledged the process of painting, did not reduce the semblance of his subjects. Indeed, he painted some of the most innovative and realistic portraits of the baroque era, including Las Meninas (The maids of honor; c. 1656, Prado, Madrid), the strikingly complex and unique family portrait of King Philip IV.

THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY

The eighteenth century witnessed profound changes in politics and culture. The philosophy of Enlightenment thinkers and the development of modern science provoked a change of taste in literature and the visual arts. Institutional and court-based systems of patronage that had prevailed during the seventeenth century declined. In their place, a growing bourgeois culture exerted its influence and effected a corresponding change in the style and subject matter of painting. Baroque art's formality, rhetorical gesture, and didacticism gave way to a taste that was tolerant, gracious, and lighthearted in conception. Dark palettes and dramatic light-dark contrasts were replaced with pastel colors and subtler approaches to illumination. Paint handling loosened in tandem with a growing appreciation for brushwork. Antiacademic theorists, including the French critic Roger de Piles, promoted the painterly colorism of Rubens over the cerebral emphasis on line represented by Poussin and all that those differences entailed. The resulting controversy between the Rubénistes and the Poussinistes, as it was called, would be reenacted in the nineteenth century by the French painters Eugène Delacroix and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.

The hierarchy of subjects, with history painting as the most elevated theme for an artist to paint, continued as a doctrine in the academies. However, themes of social and particularly domestic life were eagerly developed with great romantic and comic flair by painters including Antoine Watteau, Pietro Longhi, and William Hogarth. Pastoral idylls and mythological themes, especially those depicting amorous encounters, were popular. Portraiture, always in demand, assumed lyrical, even daring liberties of intimacy, as evidenced in one of François Boucher's most enchanting portrayals, Madame de Pompadour (1756, Alte Pinakothek, Munich). Rococo is the historical term for this eighteenth-century style.

Italy. Rome in particular and Italy in general continued to dominate the artistic culture of Europe. Tourists traveled to Italy to study its ancient and contemporary treasures. This popular sojourn, known as the "grand tour," encouraged the purchase of souvenirs, often in the form of paintings. Vedute or view paintings were especially popular. They combined the recognizable cityscape and its monuments with the picturesque activities of the citizenry absorbed in their daily activities. Canaletto (born Giovanni Antonio Canal) and Francesco Guardi from Venice, and Giovanni Paolo Pannini from Rome were three of its most accomplished practitioners. In View of the Molo toward the Santa Maria della Salute with the Dogana de Mare (1770s, Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena), Guardi presents the glittering, ever-changing character of the Venetian lagoon with a silvery palette and lively brushwork composed of quick touches of paint on the surface. In the continuous sweep of sea and sky and the activity of the boatmen, Guardi poetically suggests the Adriatic light that made Venice so beloved a destination.

Italian painters also traveled outside of Italy to accept commissions to decorate the various palaces of Europe. Giovanni Battista Tiepolo from Venice was the popular court painter to the monarchs of Europe, especially in Germany and Spain. He brought the tradition of grand ceiling paintings to audacious heights of creativity and illusionism. In his hands, the art of fresco painting achieved a technical brilliance that was unrivaled in Europe. Tiepolo's lofty gods and goddesses, airborne in painted kingdoms composed of sunlight and clouds, played the protagonists in complex pictorial narratives that proclaimed the nobility and inspiration of his patrons, as in the frescoes at the Kaisersaal of the Residenz at Wurzburg (17501753).

France. In France, the death of King Louis XIV in 1715 and the royal court's move from Versailles to Paris heralded a new ease and willingness to pursue pleasure in both aristocratic and bourgeois society. This new spirit, which found expression in the elegant interiors of Parisian hotels and the paintings that hung there, is perfectly illustrated in the complex and charming paintings of Antoine Watteau of Valenciennes. In his celebrated "painted conversations," graceful young couples, dressed in contemporary fashion, convene in fantasy garden settings. Rarely portrayed close-up, they are observed, but remain ambiguous. The impression conveyed is one of quiet reverie. Like Rubens before him, whom he much admired, Watteau relied on the suggestive and emotive qualities of color to achieve his effects. With deft brushwork, he describes the shimmering qualities of fabric, verdant foliage, and the soft illumination of the sun. The scenes are suggestive of a theatrical or operatic performance.

The overtly joyous and pleasure-loving character of the rococo finds expression in the work of Jean-Honoré Fragonard of Grasse. In the Happy Lovers (17601765, Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena), a young couple enjoys each other's company in a secluded, rustic retreat. The scene is embroidered with patterns of branches, leaves, and flowers that are as charming as the subject itself. Fragonard used a palette of pastel colors, applied thickly in full strokes to create a voluptuous surface that is complementary to the subject.

Paris-born Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin was the greatest painter of still lifes in the eighteenth century. His deceptively simple pictures composed of humble utensils and foodstuffs from the kitchen belie the carefully arranged visual relationships of the motifs. Their impression is one of casual informality. Chardin rendered objects as one might see them without attempting to make them pretty. He worked directly from the motif, varying his brushstroke to match the texture of each surface. Sharp dabs of his brush tip onto the surface of the canvas suggested the softness of rabbit fur. Indeed, the illusion of physicality in his objects stems in part from his brushwork that could be rough and scumbled in its application. His technique and choice of subject were a source of inspiration to nineteenth-century painters. Chardin also created some of the most intimate and touching views of the preoccupations of women and children. These tender and contemplative views of domestic life were unprecedented in France. Return from the Market (1739, Louvre, Paris) shows the quiet absorption of a lone maid who is completely unaware of and does not interact with the spectator.

England. England was a Protestant country ruled by a monarchy whose powers since the seventeenth century had been mediated by Parliament. The British saw themselves as pragmatic and unfettered by doctrines and superstitions that informed the conduct of other European cultures. To this end, they were sympathetic to the ideals of the Enlightenment. British paintings illustrate the belief in humankind's capacity to improve itself, and they celebrate a simple, natural way of life.

This said, a true national school of painting with recognizable characteristics was slow to emerge. Art production in England had been long dominated by foreign artists, beginning with the German Hans Holbein in the sixteenth century and later by continental artists including Anthony Van Dyck and Orazio Lomi Gentileschi from Italy, to name a few. Aristocratic and royal collectors sought the paintings of the most highly regarded artists of the Italian, French, and Flemish schools. They seldom commissioned works from their native artists. The grand tour, in which the well-to-do British extended their education by studying on the Continent, further contributed to the influx of foreign works of art in private collections.

In the eighteenth century a recognizable school of British painting finally asserted itself. Like the Dutch a century earlier, the English had no need for lofty allegory or religious subjects. Portraiture and the circumstances of daily life presented the greatest thematic interest. William Hogarth of London, for example, was mainly celebrated for his witty and satirical pictorial narratives in which the teeming life of London is the subject. This genre, which Hogarth himself identified as "modern moral subjects," had its roots in the paintings of the Dutch school and in themes treated in contemporary British literature.

A consummate storyteller, Hogarth appropriated observable character types and described their rise and fall through greed, carelessness, and disease. His pictorial narratives developed in serial form, each canvas illustrating an episode. Each series carried a name, such as Marriage à la mode (17431745, National Gallery, London). The paintings are composed as though taking place on a stage with precisely described and crisply painted settings and costumes. Hogarth's main source of income from these paintings came from the copperplate engravings he based on them, which became immensely popular throughout Europe. It should be borne in mind that reproductive prints based on similar paintings were not only an important source of income for artists, but also a method by which artists advertised their style and creativity throughout Europe during this century.

Joshua Reynolds of Plympton and Thomas Gainsborough from Sudbury were two of England's greatest painters. Reynolds created a style of portraiture that resonated with the artist's study of and appreciation for the art of Italy, especially the masters of the High Renaissance. A supporter of the theoretical underpinnings of painting, he was the first president and cofounder of the Royal Academy of Art in England. Gainsborough pursued a more intuitive approach. Although his early landscapes reveal a strong Dutch influence, his palette was lighter and made liberal use of silvery tones in the highlights, as in the portrait, Mr. and Mrs. Andrews (17481749, National Gallery, London). Linear rhythms throughout provide a sense of the life of nature. The artist's phenomenal range of light blues and grays, and his technical facility with the brushlighter colors are scumbled over darker ones while maintaining their integrity on the surfaceare characteristic of the ease and suavity of rococo painting. The informal presentation of the couple, whereby they appear comfortable and confident in their role as landed gentry, is well suited to the ideals of the age of Enlightenment.

Spain. In Spain, Francisco de Goya's career extended from the rococo to the beginning of the Romantic period in the nineteenth century. Like Rembrandt before him, his technical and imaginative powers as an artist found expression in drawing, painting, and printmaking. A gifted portraitist, Goya depicted the royal family and Spanish nobility with an unpretentious honest realism. Occasionally, his lack of flattery, as in the important painting Charles IV and His Family (1800, Prado, Madrid), assumes discomforting overtones in its suggestion of ridicule. At the same time, he exploited the decorative possibilities of color and facture in describing the fabrics, medals, and jewelry with a flurry of brushwork that hints at abstraction. Goya's mature thematic repertoire, apart from portraiture, was revolutionary in its disregard for the hierarchy of subjects promoted by academies of painting. Instead, he portrayed the great passions of Spain like bullfighting, and the folly and irrational superstitions of his countrymen. He experimented with new pictorial structures. Tradition was sacrificed to achieve his personal artistic vision. In his wrenching depiction of Spanish rebels facing a firing squad of French soldiers during the Napoleonic invasion, The Second of May 1808 (1814, Prado, Madrid), Goya brings the subject of history painting to the present with a realism and passion that introduce the modern era.

NEOCLASSICISM

The profound political and social changes wrought by the French Revolution impacted all institutions in France and sent shock waves throughout Europe. The delightful subjects and ornament of the rococo style of painting were replaced with sober themes of moral and civic purpose, and a structured style of painting that relied on the classic lines and proportions of Greek and Roman art. This style was informed by the philosophy of the Enlightenment, which promoted rationalism and secularism, and by the renewed interest in classical art and history that was stimulated by major archaeological discoveries in Italy during the eighteenth century. This new artistic expression is known historically as neoclassicism.

See also Academies of Art ; Art ; Baroque ; Britain, Art in ; Florence, Art in ; France, Art in ; Mannerism ; Naples, Art in ; Neoclassicism ; Netherlands, Art in ; Rococo ; Rome, Art in ; Spain, Art in ; Venice, Art in .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Baxandall, Michael. Patterns of Intention: On the Historical Explanation of Pictures. New Haven, 1985. Examines the question of artistic intention: how the constraints of culture, the artistic medium, and the intended use of a work of art shape the process of its creation.

Bermingham, Ann. Landscape and Ideology: The English Rustic Tradition, 17481868. Berkeley, 1986.

Brown, Jonathan. Painting in Spain: 15001700. New Haven, 1998.

Crow, Thomas. Painters and Public Life in Eighteenth-Century Paris. New Haven and London, 1985.

Dempsey, Charles. Annibale Carracci and the Beginnings of Baroque Style. Glückstadt, Germany. 1977.

Dunkerton, Jill, Susan Foister, and Nicholas Penney. Dürer to Veronese: Sixteenth-Century Painting in the National Gallery. New Haven and London, 1999.

Franits, Wayne. Looking at Seventeenth Century Dutch Art: Realism Reconsidered. Cambridge, U.K., 1997. Essays that survey the principal interpretive methods and debates applied to meaning in Dutch art.

Freedberg, S. J. Painting of the High Renaissance in Rome and Florence. Newly revised ed. New York, 1985.

Fried, Michael. Absorption and Theatricality: Painting and Beholder in the Age of Diderot. Berkeley, 1980. The author applies the writings of eighteenth-century art critics such as Diderot as a means of understanding how the spectator is positioned.

Haak, Bob. The Golden Age: Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century. Translated from the Dutch by Elizabeth Willems-Treeman. New York, 1996.

Haskell, Francis. Patrons and Painters: A Study in the Relations between Italian Art and Society in the Age of the Baroque. Revised and enlarged ed. New Haven, 1980.

Humfrey, Peter. Painting in Renaissance Venice. New Haven, 1995.

Larsen, Erik. Seventeenth Century Flemish Painting. Freren, Germany, 1985.

Levey, Michael. High Renaissance. Harmondsworth, U.K., 1975.

. Painting in Eighteenth-Century Venice. 3rd ed. New Haven, 1994.

. Rococo to Revolution: Major Trends in Eighteenth-Century Painting. New York, 1966.

Pevsner, Nikolaus, Sir. Academies of Art, Past and Present. New preface. New York, 1973. Reprint of original 1940 ed.

Puglisi, Catherine. Caravaggio. London, 1998.

Shearman, John. Mannerism. London and New York, 1990.

Smyth, Craig Hugh. Mannerism and Maniera. With an introduction by Elizabeth Cropper. 2nd ed. Vienna, 1992.

Sutton, Peter, with Marjorie E. Wieseman et al. The Age of Rubens. Boston, 1993.

Vaughan, William. British Painting: The Golden Age from Hogarth to Turner. London and New York, 1999.

Wright, Christopher. The French Painters of the Seventeenth Century. London, 1985.

Gloria Williams

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Painting." Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Painting." Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/painting-2

"Painting." Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/painting-2

Paint

Paint

Background

Paint is a term used to describe a number of substances that consist of a pigment suspended in a liquid or paste vehicle such as oil or water. With a brush, a roller, or a spray gun, paint is applied in a thin coat to various surfaces such as wood, metal, or stone. Although its primary purpose is to protect the surface to which it is applied, paint also provides decoration.

Samples of the first known paintings, made between 20,000 and 25,000 years ago, survive in caves in France and Spain. Primitive paintings tended to depict humans and animals, and diagrams have also been found. Early artists relied on easily available natural substances to make paint, such as natural earth pigments, charcoal, berry juice, lard, blood, and milkweed sap. Later, the ancient Chinese, Egyptians, Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans used more sophisticated materials to produce paints for limited decoration, such as painting walls. Oils were used as varnishes, and pigments such as yellow and red ochres, chalk, arsenic sulfide yellow, and malachite green were mixed with binders such as gum arabic, lime, egg albumen, and beeswax.

Paint was first used as a protective coating by the Egyptians and Hebrews, who applied pitches and balsams to the exposed wood of their ships. During the Middle Ages, some inland wood also received protective coatings of paint, but due to the scarcity of paint, this practice was generally limited to store fronts and signs. Around the same time, artists began to boil resin with oil to obtain highly miscible (mixable) paints, and artists of the fifteenth century were the first to add drying oils to paint, thereby hastening evaporation. They also adopted a new solvent, linseed oil, which remained the most commonly used solvent until synthetics replaced it during the twentieth century.

In Boston around 1700, Thomas Child built the earliest American paint mill, a granite trough within which a 1.6 foot (.5 meter) granite ball rolled, grinding the pigment. The first paint patent was issued for a product that improved whitewash, a water-slaked lime often used during the early days of the United States. In 1865 D. P. Flinn obtained a patent for a water-based paint that also contained zinc oxide, potassium hydroxide, resin, milk, and lin-seed oil. The first commercial paint mills replaced Child's granite ball with a buhrstone wheel, but these mills continued the practice of grinding only pigment (individual customers would then blend it with a vehicle at home). It wasn't until 1867 that manufacturers began mixing the vehicle and the pigment for consumers.

The twentieth century has seen the most changes in paint composition and manufacture. Today, synthetic pigments and stabilizers are commonly used to mass produce uniform batches of paint. New synthetic vehicles developed from polymers such as polyurethane and styrene-butadene emerged during the 1940s. Alkyd resins were synthesized, and they have dominated production since. Before 1930, pigment was ground with stone mills, and these were later replaced by steel balls. Today, sand mills and high-speed dispersion mixers are used to grind easily dispersible pigments.

Perhaps the greatest paint-related advancement has been its proliferation. While some wooden houses, stores, bridges, and signs were painted as early as the eighteenth century, it wasn't until recently that mass production rendered a wide variety of paints universally indispensable. Today, paints are used for interior and exterior housepainting, boats, automobiles, planes, appliances, furniture, and many other places where protection and appeal are desired.

Raw Materials

A paint is composed of pigments, solvents, resins, and various additives. The pigments give the paint color; solvents make it easier to apply; resins help it dry; and additives serve as everything from fillers to antifungicidal agents. Hundreds of different pigments, both natural and synthetic, exist. The basic white pigment is titanium dioxide, selected for its excellent concealing properties, and black pigment is commonly made from carbon black. Other pigments used to make paint include iron oxide and cadmium sulfide for reds, metallic salts for yellows and oranges, and iron blue and chrome yellows for blues and greens.

Solvents are various low viscosity, volatile liquids. They include petroleum mineral spirits and aromatic solvents such as benzol, alcohols, esters, ketones, and acetone. The natural resins most commonly used are lin-seed, coconut, and soybean oil, while alkyds, acrylics, epoxies, and polyurethanes number among the most popular synthetic resins. Additives serve many purposes. Some, like calcium carbonate and aluminum silicate, are simply fillers that give the paint body and substance without changing its properties. Other additives produce certain desired characteristics in paint, such as the thixotropic agents that give paint its smooth texture, driers, anti-settling agents, anti-skinning agents, defoamers, and a host of others that enable paint to cover well and last long.

Design

Paint is generally custom-made to fit the needs of industrial customers. For example, one might be especially interested in a fast-drying paint, while another might desire a paint that supplies good coverage over a long lifetime. Paint intended for the consumer can also be custom-made. Paint manufacturers provide such a wide range of colors that it is impossible to keep large quantities of each on hand. To meet a request for "aquamarine," "canary yellow," or "maroon," the manufacturer will select a base that is appropriate for the deepness of color required. (Pastel paint bases will have high amounts of titanium dioxide, the white pigment, while darker tones will have less.) Then, according to a predetermined formula, the manufacturer can introduce various pigments from calibrated cylinders to obtain the proper color.

The Manufacturing
Process

Making the paste

  • 1 Pigment manufacturers send bags of fine grain pigments to paint plants. There, the pigment is premixed with resin (a wetting agent that assists in moistening the pigment), one or more solvents, and additives to form a paste.

Dispersing the pigment

  • 2 The paste mixture for most industrial and some consumer paints is now routed into a sand mill, a large cylinder that agitates tiny particles of sand or silica to grind the pigment particles, making them smaller and dispersing them throughout the mixture. The mixture is then filtered to remove the sand particles.
  • 3 Instead of being processed in sand mills, up to 90 percent of the water-based latex paints designed for use by individual homeowners are instead processed in a high-speed dispersion tank. There, the premixed paste is subjected to high-speed agitation by a circular, toothed blade attached to a rotating shaft. This process blends the pigment into the solvent.

Thinning the paste

  • 4 Whether created by a sand mill or a dispersion tank, the paste must now be thinned to produce the final product. Transferred to large kettles, it is agitated with the proper amount of solvent for the type of paint desired.

Canning the paint

  • 5 The finished paint product is then pumped into the canning room. For the standard 8 pint (3.78 liter) paint can available to consumers, empty cans are first rolled horizontally onto labels, then set upright so that the paint can be pumped into them. A machine places lids onto the filled cans, and a second machine presses on the lids to seal them. From wire that is fed into it from coils, a bailometer cuts and shapes the handles before hooking them into holes precut in the cans. A certain number of cans (usually four) are then boxed and stacked before being sent to the warehouse.

Quality Control

Paint manufacturers utilize an extensive array of quality control measures. The ingredients and the manufacturing process undergo stringent tests, and the finished product is checked to insure that it is of high quality. A finished paint is inspected for its density, fineness of grind, dispersion, and viscosity. Paint is then applied to a surface and studied for bleed resistance, rate of drying, and texture.

In terms of the paint's aesthetic components, color is checked by an experienced observer and by spectral analysis to see if it matches a standard desired color. Resistance of the color to fading caused by the elements is determined by exposing a portion of a painted surface to an arc light and comparing the amount of fading to a painted surface that was not so exposed. The paint's hiding power is measured by painting it over a black surface and a white surface. The ratio of coverage on the black surface to coverage on the white surface is then determined, with .98 being high-quality paint. Gloss is measured by determining the amount of reflected light given off a painted surface.

Tests to measure the paint's more functional qualities include one for mar resistance, which entails scratching or abrading a dried coat of paint. Adhesion is tested by making a crosshatch, calibrated to .07 inch (2 millimeters), on a dried paint surface. A piece of tape is applied to the crosshatch, then pulled off; good paint will remain on the surface. Scrubbability is tested by a machine that rubs a soapy brush over the paint's surface. A system also exists to rate settling. An excellent paint can sit for six months with no settling and rate a ten. Poor paint, however, will settle into an immiscible lump of pigment on the bottom of the can and rate a zero. Weathering is tested by exposing the paint to outdoor conditions. Artificial weathering exposes a painted surface to sun, water, extreme temperature, humidity, or sulfuric gases. Fire retardancy is checked by burning the paint and determining its weight loss. If the amount lost is more than 10 percent, the paint is not considered fire-resistant.

Byproducts/Waste

A recent regulation (California Rule 66) concerning the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) affects the paint industry, especially manufacturers of industrial oil-based paints. It is estimated that all coatings, including stains and varnishes, are responsible for 1.8 percent of the 2.3 million metric tons of VOCs released per year. The new regulation permits each liter of paint to contain no more than 250 grams (8.75 ounces) of solvent. Paint manufacturers can replace the solvents with pigment, fillers, or other solids inherent to the basic paint formula. This method produces thicker paints that are harder to apply, and it is not yet known if such paints are long lasting. Other solutions include using paint powder coatings that use no solvents, applying paint in closed systems from which VOCs can be retrieved, using water as a solvent, or using acrylics that dry under ultraviolet light or heat. A consumer with some unused paint on hand can return it to the point of purchase for proper treatment.

A large paint manufacturer will have an in-house wastewater treatment facility that treats all liquids generated on-site, even storm water run-off. The facility is monitored 24 hours a day, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does a periodic records and systems check of all paint facilities. The liquid portion of the waste is treated on-site to the standards of the local publicly owned wastewater treatment facility; it can be used to make low-quality paint. Latex sludge can be retrieved and used as fillers in other industrial products. Waste solvents can be recovered and used as fuels for other industries. A clean paint container can be reused or sent to the local landfill.

Where To Learn More

Books

Flick, Ernest W. Handbook of Paint Raw Materials, 2nd ed. Noyes Data Corp., 1989.

Martens, Charles R. Emulsion and Water-Soluble Paints and Coatings. Reinhold Publishing Company, 1964.

Morgans, W. M. Outlines of Paint Technology, 3rd ed. John Wiley & Sons, 1990.

The Paints and Coatings Industry. Business Trend Analysts, 1990.

Paints and Protective Coatings. Gordon Press, 1991.

Turner, G. P. A. Introduction to Paint Chemistry and Principles of Paint Technology, 3rd ed. Chapman & Hall, 1988.

Weismantel, Guy E. Paint Handbook. McGraw-Hill, 1981.

Periodicals

Levinson, Nancy. "Goodbye, Old Paint." Architectural Record. January, 1992, pp. 42-43.

Scott, Susan. "Painting with Pesticides: the Controversial Organoxin Paints." Sea Frontiers. November/December, 1987, pp. 415-421.

Rose Secrest

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Paint." How Products Are Made. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Paint." How Products Are Made. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/manufacturing/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/paint

"Paint." How Products Are Made. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/manufacturing/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/paint

painting

painting. The coming of Christianity with the building and decoration of churches marks a good point from which to look at recorded painting in Britain. Pope Gregory (late 6th cent.) agreed that paintings in church would assist the understanding of Christianity. Painting was done on manuscripts, walls, wood panels, glass, and tiles. The Anglo-Saxon artistic tradition was a mix of Roman and native British styles. One of the finest manuscripts, the Lindisfarne Gospels (c.698), illustrates this mixture. Illuminated manuscripts were painted on animal skins and richly decorated with subjects, including portraits of saints, stylized animals, and geometric designs.

Manuscript and panel painting continued throughout the Middle Ages, not always by monks, and covering subjects outside religion. Bestiaries were popular. The artists, who often travelled widely, rarely painted from life even when representing a living person. Sometimes, however, they needed a life model for a new experience, as the monk Matthew Paris did when he copied an elephant for a painting presented to Henry III (c.1255). There is small evidence in English painting of the 13th and 14th cents. of the skills shown in Italy and France at the same time, with little attempt to make the figures proportional or lifelike.

The Reformation brought a crisis to painting in Britain with protestants objecting to images of saints in church and home. Not only did religious commissions cease, except briefly under Mary I, but waves of iconoclasm during the reign of Edward VI, and intermittently until the final destructions in the Civil War, resulted in many examples of painting, sculpture, and glass being destroyed. The increased wealth of the nobility in the 16th and 17th cents. produced a vigorous demand for family portraits and most great houses contained a long gallery. But English artists did not have the prestige of foreign painters, which explains why William Hogarth is the first native artist represented in the National Gallery. The arrival in England of Hans Holbein momentarily changed the way in which portraits were painted. But although he was appointed court painter by Henry VIII, his skill as a painter was never fully exploited and his influence was minimal. After his death, his simple and direct style was replaced by more mannered paintings like the Hilliard miniature Portrait of a Young Man or the cult portraits of Elizabeth. Charles I was an important and knowledgeable collector of art and a patron of Van Dyck. The safe option of portrait painting got artists through the Civil War with the Restoration seeing the Stuart court looking abroad for portraitists. The Dutch artist Lely spanned both Commonwealth and Restoration portraiture, as did Samuel Cooper, the miniaturist.

The 18th cent. was the great age of country house building and decoration. Fashionable gentlemen linked painting with taste and bought old masters or used foreign portrait painters. Hogarth campaigned on behalf of English artists, but his greatest success was not in portraiture but in social and moral commentary, like The Rake's Progress (1735), highly successful as prints. But in the next generation, British painters came into their own with Reynolds, Gainsborough, and Ramsay offering dignified and beautiful portraits. At court, the German Zoffany painted informal family groups called conversation pieces, a genre repeated for Queen Victoria by Landseer and Winterhalter. The foundation of the Royal Academy in 1768 acknowledged the improved position of the artist in society. Growing interest in art and new markets among the middle classes, who had less need for portraits, changed the rules of taste. New subjects, for example contemporary history in West's Death of Wolfe (1771), personal experience such as Blake's visions, and the portrayal of everyday life by Wilkie, signalled a change in attitude towards painting which led in turn to a reassessment of landscape painting. Turner and Constable represented very different interpretations of this genre, the latter breaking with tradition in attempting to paint only what he saw.

Breaks with tradition echoed the speed of change in the outside world. Artists wanted to be free to experiment while customers wanted to buy what they knew. Many 19th-cent. artists were underrated in their lifetime: the Pre-Raphaelites and later Whistler disregarded the conventions of their day and faced a barrage of criticism.

The spirit of modernism informed the whole of the 20th cent., with artists experimenting with ideas and media. Some find modern art difficult to understand, or even repellent, but artists of the standing of Paul Nash and Graham Sutherland gave a deep insight into war, L. S. Lowry recorded the bleak factory spaces of an industrial society, and David Hockney introduced humour into painting. Though in many ways modern art has become over-specialized and divorced from everyday life, in another sense all are consumers of painting, which is everywhere—in advertising, in magazines, in greeting-card designs, on the street, and always variable.

June Cochrane

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"painting." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"painting." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/painting

"painting." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/painting

painting

painting

As the primary art associated with the Renaissance, painting reflects many of the most important discoveries, philosophies, and innovations of this historical period. The greatest artists of the period were painters, and their works have remained the most familiar Renaissance artifacts, especially in Italy. The most important aspect of Renaissance painting is the ideas the artworks expressed. It was seen as novel at the time for a scene on wood or canvas to carry the philosophy and personality of the artist. Artists emerged from obscurity and anonymity to become renowned individuals, and the works of the

best of them were sought after by collectors, monarchs, and nobles.

Painting in the Middle Ages was dominated by religion and familiar scenes from the Bible and Christian mythology. It was an art closely associated with architecture, as painting was a medium used most often for the decoration of church walls, ceilings, altars, doorways, and naves. In the early Renaissance, this tradition began to change, as artists began creating works intended to stand alone as works of art admired for the skill of the artist rather than for their function as an object of worship or religious instruction.

The humanism of the Renaissance left an important stamp on painting. Humanism passed over religious faith to seek out essential truths through rational investigation, deduction, and debate. Painters in the humanist tradition set pagan myths and philosophies on an equal footing with Christianity. They studied anatomy to arrive at a more accurate depiction of the human form, and developed the science of perspective to lend their painted scenes the illusion of three-dimensional reality. These new techniques were greatly helped by the invention of oil painting and the artist's easel, which enhanced the idea of the painting as a self-contained work of art. The greatest humanist monument of the Renaissance, however, was the immense frescoed ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, created by Michelangelo, which depicted biblical themes in the dramatic and monumental style of ancient classical sculpture.

Painters of the Renaissance usually trained as apprentices in the workshops of older, more experienced men. After serving their terms, many of them traveled in order to study, to discover classical architecture, or to view the works of their contemporaries. An independent career as a painter, however, was still an impossibility for most, and painters eagerly sought the patronage of wealthy noblemen, kings, or popes in order to support themselves with well-paid commissions. Private citizens ordered portraits of themselves or their families; and had painters decorate the chambers of their homes. Prosperous cities asked artists to enhance their public buildings with frescoes and create interior murals celebrating their history.

The wealth earned through trade and banking made Florence a center of art patronage that had no rival in Europe. At the same time, ideas were spreading rapidly as communications improved and long-distance travel grew easier, and as printed books became available after the 1450s.

Leading Italian painters of the Renaissance include Masaccio, Paolo Uccello, Fra Angelico, Sandro Botticelli, Piero della Francesca, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Andrea Mantegna, Titian, Tintoretto, Paolo Veronese, the Bellini family, and Giorgione. Major painters of the Northern Renaissance, in England, the Low Countries, and Germany, included Albrecht Dürer, Lucas Cranach, Matthias Grünewald, Pieter Brueghel, and Hans Holbein. These painters were concerned with a precise rendering of natural detail, with the astonishing technique of the Dutch painter Jan van Eyck serving as their model. Religious imagery still played a strong role in art of the north.

In the late Renaissance, several Italian painters developed a new, Mannerist style in reaction to the naturalistic detail of leading painters such as Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo. Mannerist paintings created crowded and elaborate scenes, exaggerated certain details of the human form, and tricked the observer's eye with techniques of perspective and optical illusions. Mannerism was meant not to convey a religious scene or classical myth, but to simply display the skill of the painter. It ended innovation in the Renaissance era and ushered in the new period of Baroque painting that would dominate European art for two centuries.

See Also: Bellini, Gentile; Bellini, Giovanni; Bellini, Jacopo; Botticelli, Sandro; Caravaggio, Michelangelo da; Fra Angelico; Giorgione; Grünewald, Matthias; Leonardo da Vinci; Masaccio; Michelangelo Buonarroti; Raphael; Titian

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"painting." The Renaissance. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"painting." The Renaissance. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/arts-construction-medicine-science-and-technology-magazines/painting

"painting." The Renaissance. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/arts-construction-medicine-science-and-technology-magazines/painting

painting

painting, direct application of pigment to a surface to produce by tones of color or of light and dark some representation or decorative arrangement of natural or imagined forms.

See also articles on individual painters, e.g., Rubens; countries, e.g., Dutch art; periods, e.g., Renaissance art and architecture; techniques, e.g., encaustic.

Materials and Techniques

Painters use a number of materials to produce the effects they desire. These include the materials of the surface, or ground; the pigments employed; the binder, or medium, in which the color is mixed; and its diluting agent. Among the various media used by artists are fresco, watercolor, oil, distemper, gouache, tempera, and encaustic. In addition to these, painting properly embraces many other techniques ordinarily associated with drawing, a term that is often used to refer to the linear aspects of the same art.

If painting and drawing are not always clearly distinguishable from each other, both are to be distinguished from the print (or work of graphic art), in which the design is not produced directly but is transferred from another surface to that which it decorates. While the print may be one of many identical works, the painting or drawing is always unique. Painting has been freely combined with many other arts, including sculpture, architecture, and, in the modern era, photography.

History

In ancient Greece and medieval Europe most buildings and sculptures were painted; nearly all of the ancient decoration has been lost, but some works from Egypt have preserved their coloring and give us an insight into the importance such an art can assume. The art of painting in China was linked from the 1st cent. AD with the development of the Buddhist faith. Early Christian and then Byzantine artists established iconographic and stylistic prototypes in wall painting and manuscript illumination that remained the basis for Christian art (see iconography).

Highly spiritualized in concept, the medieval painting tradition gave way to a more worldly orientation with the development of Renaissance art. The murals of Giotto became a vehicle for the expression of new and living ideas and sentiments. At the height of the Renaissance a large proportion of the works were decorations of walls and altarpieces, which were necessarily conceived in terms of their part in a larger decorative whole and their appeal for a large public. The greatest masterpieces of Raphael and Michelangelo and of the Florentine masters are generally public works of this character. The same period also saw the rise of the separate easel painting and the first use of oil on canvas. Simultaneously are found the beginnings of genre and other secular themes and the elaboration of portraiture.

Basing their art on the technical contributions of the Renaissance, e.g., the study of perspective and anatomy, the baroque masters added a virtuosity of execution and a style of unparalleled drama. From the age of the rococo, painting tended in the direction of greater intimacy. It is noteworthy, for example, that many of the masterpieces of the 19th cent., and particularly of impressionism, are small easel paintings suitable for the private home. The same period saw the rise of the large public gallery with both temporary and permanent exhibitions, an institution greatly expanded in the 20th cent.

A reawakened interest in mural painting and the contributions of painting to such arts as the motion picture and video have led some to believe that a return to a greater emphasis on the public functions of the art is taking place. Such a view can find support in the notable influence of abstract painting in the fields of industrial and architectural design. This art also continues to enjoy undiminished popularity in the home and gallery. Painting has had a long and glorious world history as an independent art. From Giotto to Picasso and from Ma Yüan to Hokusai, painting has never ceased to produce great exponents who have expressed not merely the taste but the aspirations, the concepts of space, form, and color, and the philosophy of their respective periods.

Bibliography

See M. Levey, A Concise History of Painting (1962); R. Mayer, Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques (3d ed. 1970); W. Slatkin et al., Art Through History (1986); G. F. Brommer and N. Kinne, Exploring Painting (1988); H. Hensche, The Art of Seeing and Painting (1988).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"painting." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"painting." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/painting

"painting." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/painting

paint

paint / pānt/ • n. 1. a colored substance that is spread over a surface and dries to leave a thin decorative or protective coating: a can of paint the paint has been applied to the surface with a palette knife. ∎  an act of covering something with paint: it looked in need of a good paint. ∎ inf. cosmetic makeup: one has false curls, another too much paint. ∎  Basketball the rectangular area marked near the basket at each end of the court; the foul lane: the two players jostled in the paint. ∎  Comput. the function or capability of producing graphics, esp. those that mimic the effect of real paint: [as adj.] a paint program. 2. a piebald horse: [as adj.] a paint mare. • v. [tr.] 1. (often be painted) cover the surface of (something) with paint, as decoration or protection: the walls hadn't been painted for years | [tr.] the ceiling was painted dark gray | [as adj.] (painted) a brightly painted trailer. ∎  apply cosmetics to (the face or skin): she couldn't have been more than fourteen but her face was thickly painted. ∎  apply (a liquid) to a surface with a brush. ∎  (paint something out) efface something with paint: the markings on the plane were hurriedly painted out. ∎  Comput. create (a graphic or screen display) using a paint program. ∎  display a mark representing (an aircraft or vehicle) on a radar screen. 2. depict (an object, person, or scene) with paint: I painted a woman sitting next to a table lamp. ∎  produce (a picture) in such a way: Marr is a self-taught artist who paints portraits | [intr.] she paints and she makes sculptures. ∎  give a description of (someone or something): I'm painted as some nut case living in the woods. PHRASES: like watching paint dry (of an activity or experience) extremely boring. paint oneself into a corner leave oneself no means of escape or room to maneuver. paint the town (red) inf. go out and enjoy oneself flamboyantly.DERIVATIVES: paint·a·ble adj. paint·y adj. (paint·i·er, paint·i·est) .

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"paint." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"paint." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/paint-1

"paint." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/paint-1

painting

painting Art of using one or more colours, generally mixed with a medium (such as oil or water) and applied to a surface with a brush, finger or other tool to create pictures. Paintings are among the earliest of historical records. Painting in early civilizations, such as Egypt, was largely a matter of filling in with colour areas outlined by drawing. Little Greek painting survives (apart from that on pottery). The Romans were greatly influenced by Greek art, as the fine fresco paintings at Pompeii and Herculaneum demonstrate. In the early Christian and Byzantine periods, traditions in mural painting and manuscript illumination were established that were to last throughout the Middle Ages. When the humanist ideals of the Renaissance took root in s Europe, the range of subjects and techniques available to the artist widened enormously. The period also saw the first use of oil paint on canvas, the beginnings of genre painting and pure portraiture. It was also the age of perspective and of a more natural approach to form and composition. To this creative legacy, the great painters of the Baroque period added an unrivalled bravura brushwork and drama of vision. North of the Alps, the Renaissance spread more gradually than in Italy. The 17th-century Dutch painters' choice of intimate, everyday subjects was the antithesis of the grand manner characteristic of the Italian masters. By the 18th century, British painters had become established in portraiture, animal, and landscape painting, although overshadowed by the great Venetian masters. The 19th century opened with the supremacy of neo-classicism challenged by the new Romanticism. Both schools were superseded, first by impressionism and then by a succession of new movements in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Most of these movements – impressionism, post-impressionism, symbolism, fauvism, cubism, Dada, and surrealism – originated in Paris. Germany was the cradle of expressionism and Russia contributed suprematism. In the latter half of the 20th century, the USA produced many original movements, such as abstract expressionism, pop art, and op art.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"painting." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"painting." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/painting

"painting." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/painting

paint

paint make (a picture) on a surface in colours XII; depict in words XV. prob. first in pp. (i)peint — (O)F. peint(e), pp. of peindre :— L. pingere embroider, paint, embellish, f. nasalized form of IE. *pig- *peig-, repr. also by Skr. pinkte paints, and parallel with *peik- *poik̂-, repr. by OE. fāh, OHG. fēh, Goth. -faihs coloured.
Hence paint ob. pigment, colour. XVII. So painter1 XIV. — OF. peintour, nom. peintre :- Rom. *pinctōrem, for L. pictōrem, nom. pictor, f. pict-, pp. stem of pingere; see -OR1, -ER5.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"paint." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"paint." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/paint-2

"paint." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/paint-2

paint

paint Coating applied to a surface for protective, decorative or artistic purposes. Paint is composed of pigment (colour) and a liquid vehicle (binder or medium) that suspends the pigment, adheres to a surface and hardens when dry. Pigments are made of metallic compounds, usually oxides, or synthetic materials. Vehicles may be oils, water mixed with a binding agent, organic compounds or synthetic resins, which may be soluble in water or oil.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"paint." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"paint." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/paint

"paint." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/paint

paint

paint like watching paint dry (of an activity or experience) extremely boring.
paint oneself into a corner leave oneself no means of escape or room to manoeuvre.
paint the town red enjoy oneself flamboyantly; an informal expression recorded first in the US in the mid 19th century.

See also painting the Forth bridge.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"paint." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"paint." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/paint

"paint." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/paint

painting

paint·ing / ˈpānting/ • n. the process or art of using paint, in a picture, as a protective coating, or as decoration. ∎  a painted picture: an oil painting.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"painting." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"painting." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/painting-0

"painting." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/painting-0

Painting

PAINTING

PAINTING. SeeArt: Painting .

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Painting." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Painting." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/painting

"Painting." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/painting

paint

paintacquaint, ain't, attaint, complaint, constraint, distraint, faint, feint, paint, plaint, quaint, restraint, saint, taint •spray-paint • greasepaint • warpaint •asquint, bint, clint, dint, flint, glint, hint, imprint, lint, mint, misprint, print, quint, skint, splint, sprint, squint, stint, tint •Septuagint • skinflint • catmint •varmint • spearmint • calamint •peppermint • enprint • screen print •offprint • blueprint • newsprint •footprint • thumbprint • fingerprint •monotint • mezzotint • aquatint •pint • Geraint •Comte, conte, font, fount, pont, quant, Vermont, want •Delfont • vicomte • Frémont •piedmont • Beaumont • Hellespont •passant • poste restante •avaunt, daunt, flaunt, gaunt, haunt, jaunt, taunt, vaunt

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"paint." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"paint." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/paint-0

"paint." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/paint-0

painting

painting •matting • exacting •Banting, ranting •parting •enchanting, planting •everlasting, fasting, lasting •narrowcasting •letting, setting, wetting •self-respecting, self-selecting, unreflecting, unsuspecting •tempting •unconsenting, unrelenting •excepting •arresting, unprotesting, unresting, westing •bloodletting • trendsetting •pace-setting • typesetting •photosetting •grating, plating, rating, slating, uprating, weighting •painting •pasting, tasting •undeviating • self-perpetuating •unaccommodating • self-deprecating •suffocating • self-regulating •undiscriminating • underpainting •unhesitating •beating, fleeting, greeting, Keating, meeting, self-defeating, sweeting •easting •fitting, sitting, unbefitting, unremitting, witting •printing, unstinting •listing, twisting, unresisting •shopfitting • marketing •telemarketing • pickpocketing •weightlifting • side-splitting •carpeting • trumpeting •uninteresting • visiting •backlighting, lighting, self-righting, sighting, unexciting, uninviting, whiting, writing •infighting • prizefighting •dogfighting • bullfighting •handwriting • screenwriting •scriptwriting • copywriting •skywriting • signwriting •typewriting • songwriting • knotting •prompting •costing, frosting •self-supporting, unsporting •malting, salting •ripsnorting • outing •accounting, mounting •coating •Boulting, revolting •posting, roasting •billposting • disappointing •shooting, suiting, Tooting •sharpshooting • footing •off-putting •cutting, Nutting •bunting •disgusting, self-adjusting, trusting •blockbusting • linocutting •woodcutting • disquieting •disconcerting, shirting, skirting

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"painting." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"painting." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/painting

"painting." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/painting