videos + essays

Oil paint in Venice
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
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
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
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
Gold-ground panel painting

From carpenters and workshop assistants to apothecaries and goldsmiths, it took a village to make a panel painting.

Tempera paint
Tempera paint

What did medieval and Renaissance painters have in common with pharmacists? Hint: a mortar and pestle.