Oil Painting

Painting is one of the oldest human practices, with evidence of this art form from over 32,000 years ago. Styles, techniques and materials used for painting have changed and advanced throughout this extensive period. The origins of oil painting have long been disputed, with Europe, the Middle East and Asia all claiming to be the source of its invention. Flemish artist, Jan van Eyck (c. 1390-1441) has been recognized as a pioneer in oil painting, although it is believed that this type of paint was used centuries before van Eyck was active. Oil painting has played an important role throughout the history of art, with artists manipulating the flexibility and depth of color that oil paint allows. For 17th century Old Master, Rembrandt, oil paint on canvas or panel were the materials of choice for his portraits, enabling the painter to create light affects and realistic facial expressions.