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Frans Hals is actually my favorite painter, so if people take nothing else away from this thread, I would urge them to go check that shit out.

The exact quote I was responding to in my essay:

"When oil paint replaced tempera in the fifteenth century, it helped painters to deal with difficult subjects like the human figure because, unlike tempera, oil can be blended and overpainted."

In support of which you now cite... Frans Hals, a sui generis painter who worked two hundred years later. I'm surprised you chose him over El Greco, who at least is within two centuries of the time period under discussion.

It's been entertaining watching you try to walk your various misstatements about art history back in this thread, but I am somewhat surprised by this habit of calling people who poke holes in your writing "trolls", given that you are the author of a celebrated taxonomy of online argument that places name-callers among the lowest of the low.

Weenis.




Actually Franz Hals was my counterexample to your statement that no one painted alla prima till the 19th century. There are lots of others I could have picked (Fragonard for example) but I figured the most famous example of the style would do.

My support for the statement that oil paint allowed painters to blend and overpaint is the example I gave earlier:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentimento

http://www.escholarship.org/editions/data/13030/d9/ft1d5nb0d...

Van Eyck, who was such an early user of oil paint that for much of history he was considered the inventor of oil painting, is also one of the standard examples of overpainting to correct mistakes. How much more conclusive evidence could one want?


In your essay, you implied that people were painting alla prima during the Renaissance, that Renaissance painters would start from a rough sketch directly from the canvas, and that they could repeatedly rework parts of the picture.

You can link every Dutch master you want without making your argument any less bogus.

Here's what I actually wrote:

"The allusion a sketchy, iterative style of painting that used to be called "alla prima", where you block shapes in in oil paint and then swoosh them around the composition as the painting progresses, perhaps repainting entire sections of the picture. This is the way Graham and I were taught to paint, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with painting in the fifteenth century."

If you want to refute me, show me the Renaissance master who painted directly onto a blank canvas, starting with a "blurry sketch" and iteratively refining it into a finished work, like Hals, or Manet, or Rubens, or Bob Ross, rather than working with underdrawings and thin glazes of color.

You can't, because no one painted like that then. But talking about painstaking preliminary design and a sequential, pretty rigid method would have been inconvenient for the purposes of your essay.


In your essay, you implied that people were painting alla prima during the Renaissance, that Renaissance painters would start from a rough sketch directly from the canvas, and that they could repeatedly rework parts of the picture.

Let's check. These two paragraphs are everything I've written about the use of oil paint in the fifteenth century:

    It helps to have a medium that makes change easy. 
    When oil paint replaced tempera in the fifteenth 
    century, it helped painters to deal with difficult 
    subjects like the human figure because, unlike tempera, 
    oil can be blended and overpainted. (Taste for Makers)

    What made oil paint so exciting, when it first 
    became popular in the fifteenth century, was that 
    you could actually make the finished work from the 
    prototype. You could make a preliminary drawing if 
    you wanted to, but you weren't held to it; you could 
    work out all the details, and even make major changes, 
    as you finished the painting. (Design and Research)
These are pretty uncontroversial statements. Neither implies that artists started painting whole paintings alla prima from day 1. They say oil allowed artists to work out details and make changes after they'd started. And here is van Eyck doing that ca. 1430:

http://www.escholarship.org/editions/data/13030/d9/ft1d5nb0d...

I didn't (obviously) use Franz Hals to support my statements about the use of oil paint in the fifteenth century, since he worked in the seventeenth. I gave Hals as a counterexample to this claim by you:

    This is not how people painted with oil until the 
    19th century.




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