Thursday, May 15, 2014

Watercolor History

To become familiar with the history of watercolor;
To become familiar with various watercolor artists throughout time;
To make connections between watercolor purposes and techniques from long ago to its uses today.

Watercolor was first used in egyptian cave paintings by mixing pigments with water. These primitive paintings can date back as far as 15,000 BCE.
Albrecht Durer is considered the man we give credit to for the modern day watercolor. He has many amazing pieces and mastered the ways of watercolor. He painted detailed landscapes as well as still lives. One piece that I found Incredible is this:
Albrecht Durer
The Wing of a Roller

Two other noteworthy watercolor artists are Anthony Van Dyck, 1599-1641, and  Claude Lorraine, a 17th century artist. Anthony’s work is colorful and sort of minimal but has a very whimsical look to it. this piece shows depth even though it is a fairly close viewed painting.
Anthony Van Dyck
Claude’s work is blotchy and simple yet shows detail and the viewer is able to see a scene. Most of his other work is highly detailed.
Claude Lorraine
Landscape with River, View of the Tiber from Monte Mario, Rome

In the 1800s and early 1900s the art form became very much in demand and there were many exhibitions . National academies of watercolor artists were formed in most western nations. The Canadian Society of Painters in Water Color was founded in 1925. At this point watercolor was at its peak.
In the 1700s women were coloring black and white prints with watercolor for fun. In the 1800s it became a very serious art form for women, especially in Europe. It became a tutor based art form that even Queen Victoria took up.
In the late 1970s and 80s there was a revival of interest in old watercolor paintings. The ones that survived from the old academies were cherished. There are a few types of  watercolors used today most of them are earth-friendly, but there are also many high quality watercolors with some experimentation on glazes to protect the art.

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