Skip to content
Art Valuation

A Brief History of Oil Paintings

An important part of art collecting is art education. A mindful collector will learn about the different mediums that they are interested in, which can help with art valuation and choices. Working with a knowledgeable art appraiser is important as well, but the individual collector still needs to have some information on the pieces they are considering. Oil paintings are one type of art that many collectors prefer. According to My Modern Met, artists have been using oil for centuries to create art. The pigments are suspended in oil to give the pieces a unique look. Let’s look at a brief history of oil paintings.

Early Oil Paintings

Oil gives artists a distinct amount of versatility with the surfaces on which they can paint. This medium also offers color depth and consistency, unlike other styles. Paintings made with oil date back to the 7th Century CE and methods have been profusely advanced throughout the years, states Britannica.

Murals painted by Buddhists in the 7th century are among the first oil paintings in recorded history; these were painted on cave walls in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, per Nature. Items such as shields and other weapons covered in oil paintings have also been discovered.

Renaissance Oil Paintings

According to Lindenwood University, oil paintings experienced a rebirth during the Renaissance period. Egg yolk tempera paint was in fashion but artists began to recognize the benefits of oil paint and how it produced better color saturation. This is what contributed to the better depth and quality of Renaissance oil paintings.

Modern Oil Paintings

Today, oil paint is still a popular painting medium despite the fact that modern technology has produced a multitude of painting mediums. The unique properties of oil paint make it a favorite choice by both European artists and artists around the globe. Technology has also made it possible to improve upon oil paint as well so that modern artists are able to achieve things that past artists never could. There are even oil features that can be incorporated into digital art today.

If you’re ready to learn more about oil paintings, it’s important to connect with an art valuation team that can help. Partnering with professional art appraisers at A.A. Fine Art can take your art collection to the next level. Contact us today if you’d like to schedule a consultation.