videos + essays
Renaissance Watercolours: materials and techniques
Find out what qualities of watercolor made it the medium of choice for many Renaissance illuminated manuscripts, portrait miniatures and colored drawings
Oil paint in Venice
Their island climate didn’t suit fresco, so the Venetians tried oils instead—these paints blend when wet.
Investigating Rothko’s Technique
Jay Krueger, head of painting conservation at the Gallery, investigated the layers and materials Rothko might have used to create the black paintings.
Almost Invisible: The Cartoon Transfer Process
Renaissance painters often used underdrawings to guide their brushes, particularly when tackling hands and drapery.
How to stretch a large canvas
Evenly spaced staples? Check. No surface undulations? Check. This taut, large-format canvas is ready to paint.
Gold-ground panel painting
From carpenters and workshop assistants to apothecaries and goldsmiths, it took a village to make a panel painting.
What did medieval and Renaissance painters have in common with pharmacists? Hint: a mortar and pestle.