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Oil Painting History

Oil Painting History

Until recently, history credited 15th century Northern Europeans as the developers of oil paints. Oil extractions from various seeds, nuts, flowers and plants, mixed with colorful pigments formed the deeply saturated and vibrant colors needed to achieve beautiful long lasting paintings.

The discovery of the Buddhist oil paintings in Western Afghanistan’s Bamiyan caves by world scholars has changed the established history. The thousands of oil paintings with Buddhist and other motifs have been dated to being painted between the fifth and tenth centuries. It is believed that the murals painted in the caves were done by Chinese and Indian artists who travelled along the Silk Road.

Now generally accepted as the earliest examples of oil based paintings. After time oil paintings acquire a certain patina often characterized by cracking, fading and weathering. The sepia colored patina adds to this effect.



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