oil painting

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oil painting

1. a picture painted with oil paints
2. the art or process of painting with oil paints
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Oil Painting


the art of painting in oil colors, sometimes with the use of varnishes. Oil painting is done mainly on canvas; however, cardboard, wood, and metal that have been covered with a special ground (easel painting), as well as gesso (mural painting), can also be used as supports. Of all painting techniques, oil painting most successfully achieves the illusion of volume and space on a flat surface, rich color effects, tonal depth, and expressive and dynamic brushwork. Various brush techniques can be used in the application of oil paints. The brushstroke can be opaque or transparent, uniformly thick or textured, or thin and smooth. Prior to the 19th century, oil painting consisted of the application of many layers of color mixed with varnish, which was followed by a coat of varnish. Since the early 19th century, the oil technique has consisted mainly of the application of colors alia prima on a clean ground or over a layer of underpainting. Varnish is rarely used.

Information about oil painting has been found in ancient and medieval manuscripts. In the first third of the. 15th century, easel painting in oil became widespread, particularly after the technique was improved by J. van Eyck. Since the 16th century, oil painting has been the most popular painting technique.


Berger, E. Istoriia razvitiia tekhniki maslianoi zhivopisi. Moscow, 1961. (Translated from German.)
Luzhetskaia, A. N. Tekhnika maslianoi zhivopisi russkikh masterov s 18 po nachalo 20 veka. Moscow, 1965.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

oil painting

[′ȯil ′pānt·iŋ]
(graphic arts)
A method of painting in which pigments are bound together, and to the canvas, by a drying oil; the oil, usually linseed, is thinned with solvents such as turpentine and mineral spirits; the pigments should dry in linseed oil to form an acceptably strong paint film.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
A very striking realist work is Romulo Galicano's 1982 oil-on-canvas, 'Old House,' showing a corner of a Philippine house with the familiar Catholic makeshift altar filled with religious icons.
Aramazd Petrosian's six oil-on-canvas pieces are classical in comparison to the other works displayed in the venue.
Also an important piece is Romeo Tabuena's untitled oil-on-canvas painting, which shows a mother nursing her child and a man plowing the rice field in the background.
In Oscar Zalameda's oil-on-canvas 'Sailboats,' the numerous adjacent curving planes to depict the boats, create a lively sense of spatial relationships.
Among contemporary works, notable would be Ronald Ventura's 2010 oil-on-canvas 'Ang Plastik Mo!,' which shows a woman wrapped in clear plastic.
Meanwhile, Norma Belleza's 2013 oil-on-canvas 'Pamilya Series' shows a a happy family playing the guitar.
Last March, Leon also auctioned off National Artist Jose Joya's 1959 oil-on-canvas 'Space Transfiguration' for P112.13 million, which officially became the most expensive Philippine painting.
Another significant piece is Ang Kiukok's 1982 oil-on-canvas 'Man with Fish,' which shows an emaciated man holding a gigantic fish.
Also an important piece was Anita Magsaysay-Ho's 1960 oil-on-canvas 'Tahip,' which was sold for P35 million.
Magsaysay-Ho's 1960 oil-on-canvas 'Tahip,' which shows a group of peasant women hard at work, is one of the highlights, with a starting price of P18 million.
Zobel's 1961 oil-on-canvas 'Acinipo #390,' which exhibited the artist's improvisation of lines and movements, was sold for a whopping P23.36 million.
Another painting by Manansala up for auction is 'Candle Vendors,' an oil-on-canvas dated and signed 1962 and sized 27' x 37' (69 cm x 94 cm).