The application of colored pigment to a surface. The chief methods of painting are: tempera emulsion painting, with a gelatinous (for example, egg yolk) rather than oil base —known in ancient Egypt; fresco watercolor painting on plaster walls—the palace of Knossos, Crete, contains examples from about 2,000 bc; ink developed in China for calligraphy in the Sung period and highly popular in Japan from the 15th century; oil ground pigments in linseed, walnut, or other oil, it spread from N to S Europe in the 15th century; watercolor pigments combined with gum arabic and glycerol, which are diluted with water— the method was developed in the 15th–17th centuries for wash drawings; acrylic synthetic pigments developed after World War ii, the colors are very hard and brilliant.
For the history of painting see medieval art; Chinese art, and so on. Individual painters and art movements are listed alphabetically.
High-resolution video cameras and computers are now being used to help art experts identify damage to paintings in some of the world’s major galleries, including the Louvre in Paris and the National Gallery in the uk. The system identifies damage by comparing “before” and “after” images in order to highlight changes in the craquelure.
For the major styles of Western painting, see Renaissance art, Mannerism, Baroque, Rococo, Neo-Classicism, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, and abstract art.
house painting · picture
1. An artistic composition made by applying paints to a surface; SYN. picture.
2. Making a picture with paints
3. The act of applying paint to a surface
4. The occupation of a house painter; SYN. house painting.