Oil Painting Index

Artwork list in our online store, oil paintings made by the most famous artists in history.

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History of Oil in Art

There is evidence of the use of oil paintings as an artistic medium dating back to the 6th century A.D. However, at that time they did not use oils as we use them today. The first oil paintings, found in Afghanistan, date back to the year 650 A.D., and resemble shields used in tournaments during that time. Studies have shown that they had an oil base that was used because it was more durable, due to how frequently these objects were typically used. At that time, they still did not realize the benefits of oil as an artistic material. Moreover, its property for drying slowly was seen as a disadvantage.


Use of Oil in Works of Art

It was not until the 12th century that the monk Theophilus Presbyter created the first recipes that detailed the preparation of paintings with an oil base. However, accelerated development of the material did not occur until the Renaissance in the 15th century. In particular, the painter Jan van Eyck was a pioneer in developing modern oil formulas to create his works of art.


Tube Paints

Packaging in the form of a tin or lead tube that we know today was invented in 1841. The container replaced those used previously: pig bladders and glass syringes. Its use increased rapidly, and thus the tube became a much more practical and durable means to store fine pigments.



Monet's paintings

Van Gogh's paintings

Klimt's paintings

Kandinsky's paintings

Hopper's paintings

Renoir's paintings

Da Vinci's paintings

Manet's paintings

Cezanne's paintings

Picasso's paintings

Miro's paintings

Sorolla's paintings

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