• $ (USD)
  • Need some help

Oil Painting

Oil painting is a type of paint which involves mixing crushed colour pigments usually with linseed oil, although poppy seed oil can also be used. The support on which it is painted must be covered with a primer beforehand so that the layer of paint can adhere to the support; an additional step which is crucial to the creative process and also means that it can be adapted to many types of surfaces.

It was during the Middle Ages that this technique first appeared and began to be develop in the Western world. The discovery of oil painting is often attributed to the Flemish painter, Jan Van Eyck who had been experimenting with various mixtures. With this new painting technique, his works benefited from new transparency effects and a new type of aesthetic was born. His approach was copied and later shared more widely by other primitive Flemish painters. Oil painting replaced the tempera technique, which uses egg as a binder.

Similarly, the wood on which artists painted was replaced by linen canvas, installed on a frame from the 15th century onwards and later placed on an easel. Although it was well-liked by painters, this medium had its drawbacks; its components were toxic and its preparation required a great amount of artisan savoir-faire in the studio. Despite this, it became closely linked to the visual arts and and was hugely popularised during the Renaissance thanks to the Venetian painters such as Titian, followed closely by the Flemish, including Rubens, before it reached the Netherlands who made it their own, with Rembrandt leading the way. The 19th and 20th centuries saw oil painting became the number one choice and the preferred medium for for modern times. The mixture no longer had to be prepared by artists in the studio; industrialisation had made things easier and the paint came pre-prepared, packaged in tubes. The tin tube was commercialised in France in 1840 and revolutionised the history of art by encouraging the Impressionists to take their brushes and paints outside and paint en plein air. It would slowly be overtaken by acrylic paint a century later which simplified things even further as it was dried faster.
An oil painting canvas also implies that the painter must respect the fat over lean principle, meaning that a colours with high oil content (fat) should be applied over layers of paint with lower oil content (lean) to ensure that the painting will last longer and to prevent cracking. Oil painting remains a widely used method and numerous artworks are still made using this technique.

Contemporary artists still master oil painting but sometimes avoid working with it in the same traditional ways of the 20th century. The canvas is often not prepared so that its texture can be seen under the layer of paint, as certain abstract painters have done. Jackson Pollock for example used oil painting but did not glaze his works. He didn't even truly paint his canvases as he used a dripping technique; by shaking his brush he created splashes of paint over the canvas…

On Artsper, explore contemporary paintings by well-known artists including Georges Terzian, Arman, Salvador Dali and Robert Combas.

Collector’s Guide: Collecting Paintings

Read more
Refine your search

Saved search

Your search is accessible from the favorites tab > My favorite searches

Unsaved search

A problem occurred

Sophie Petetin, Lovely Luberon, Painting

Sophie Petetin

Lovely Luberon, 2021
80 x 80 x 2.5 cm


Liora, L.o.v.e....Vole, Painting


L.o.v.e....Vole, 2021
100 x 100 x 4 cm


Mara Toledo, Joie de vivre, Painting

Mara Toledo

Joie de vivre, 2009
50 x 60 x 2 cm


Aykaz Arzumanyan, Rose 487, Painting

Aykaz Arzumanyan

Rose 487, 2020
55 x 46 x 3 cm


Mónica Castanys, Brisa lleu, Painting

Mónica Castanys

Brisa lleu, 2021
60 x 60 cm


Francine Van Hove, Petit-déjeuner aux clémentines, Painting

Francine Van Hove

Petit-déjeuner aux clémentines, 2020
73 x 116 cm


Françoise Dugourd-Caput, Equatorial, Painting

Françoise Dugourd-Caput

Equatorial, 2009
40 x 40 cm


Zena Blackwell, Untitled, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Untitled, 2021
25.4 x 25.4 x 2 cm


Josep Teixido, Disfrutando del paseo, Painting

Josep Teixido

Disfrutando del paseo, 2020
81 x 100 x 2 cm


Eurgal, Arbres en fleurs, Painting


Arbres en fleurs, 2021
60 x 73 x 2 cm


Joseph, Coke, Painting


Coke, 2021
50 x 70 x 5 cm


Monika Rossa, Abstraction 1, Painting

Monika Rossa

Abstraction 1, 2021
150 x 114 cm


Agnieszka Staak-Janczarska, Landscape, Painting

Agnieszka Staak-Janczarska

Landscape, 2020
19 x 23 cm


Olga Novokhatska, Shakespeare & company au printemps, Painting

Olga Novokhatska

Shakespeare & company au printemps, 2021
100 x 100 x 2 cm


Marlena Nizio, Cracow, Painting

Marlena Nizio

Cracow, 2003
70 x 50 cm


Jean-Marc Amigues, Sans titre, Painting

Jean-Marc Amigues

Sans titre, 2021
60 x 60 cm


Richard Gower, So! Passing ships, the graffiti wall, Painting

Richard Gower

So! Passing ships, the graffiti wall, 2021
120 x 90 x 2 cm


Clive Meredith, Barn Owl portrait, Painting

Clive Meredith

Barn Owl portrait, 2021
25 x 20 x 4 cm


Marta Zawadzka, White rhythm, Painting

Marta Zawadzka

White rhythm, 2021
90 x 90 x 2 cm


Richard Poumelin, Doux Mirage, Painting

Richard Poumelin

Doux Mirage, 2020
80 x 80 x 4 cm

2,500 - $ 5,000

Sophie Jourdain de Thieulloy, Souffle - série Abstraction lyrique, Painting

Sophie Jourdain de Thieulloy

Souffle - série Abstraction lyrique, 2021
65 x 81 x 2 cm


Yasna Godovanik, Love One Another, Painting

Yasna Godovanik

Love One Another, 2021
100 x 70 x 2 cm


Florian Lou, Amerzona, Painting

Florian Lou

Amerzona, 2021
38 x 55 cm


Patrick Cornée, Betty Boop, Monaco life, Time black, Painting

Patrick Cornée

Betty Boop, Monaco life, Time black, 2021
100 x 100 x 3 cm


René Romero Schuler, Arkian, Painting

René Romero Schuler

Arkian, 2019
17.75 x 17.75 x 3 cm


Ann Masseaut-Franchet, Océanne - série enfance, Painting

Ann Masseaut-Franchet

Océanne - série enfance, 2019
120 x 60 x 2 cm


Philippe Maillebuau, Gaulle : la danse des menhirs - série Bande dessinée, Painting

Philippe Maillebuau

Gaulle : la danse des menhirs - série Bande dessinée, 2021
65 x 92 x 2 cm


Patrick Rousseau, All you need is bleu, Painting

Patrick Rousseau

All you need is bleu, 2021
65 x 54 x 2 cm


Eugène Louis Martin, Paysage et verger, Painting

Eugène Louis Martin

Paysage et verger, 1932
46 x 55 x 2 cm


Clément Verdière, Vie, Painting

Clément Verdière

Vie, 2021
140 x 100 x 4 cm


Eric Turlot, Quand la mer monte, Painting

Eric Turlot

Quand la mer monte, 2021
81 x 100 x 2 cm


Serghei Ghetiu, Je suis ballerine V, Painting

Serghei Ghetiu

Je suis ballerine V, 2021
80 x 60 x 2 cm


Klaudia Lata, Untitled, Painting

Klaudia Lata

Untitled, 2021
150 x 200 cm


Wiktor Jedrzejak, Still life with plum, Painting

Wiktor Jedrzejak

Still life with plum, 1999
51 x 53.5 cm


Marianne Dencausse Robbe, Sous le vent, Painting

Marianne Dencausse Robbe

Sous le vent, 2021
100 x 65 cm


Ellie Hesse, Jungle Jive (Jungle Book), Painting

Ellie Hesse

Jungle Jive (Jungle Book), 2021
80 x 80 x 4 cm


Jean-Luc Lopez, Collioure de nuit, Painting

Jean-Luc Lopez

Collioure de nuit, 2021
38 x 46 cm


Ralph Resch, Grand prix, Painting

Ralph Resch

Grand prix, 2021
116 x 89 x 3 cm


Louis Gagez, Sans titre - série Paysage abstrait, Painting

Louis Gagez

Sans titre - série Paysage abstrait, 2020
50 x 70 x 2 cm


André-Laurent Kunkler, Nature morte fruit faïence couteau, Painting

André-Laurent Kunkler

Nature morte fruit faïence couteau, 1943
23 x 27 x 1 cm


Albert Sautère, Jeune fille et sa poupée de chiffon, Painting

Albert Sautère

Jeune fille et sa poupée de chiffon, 1917
81 x 65 x 2 cm


Benoit Havard, Paris Mogador, Painting

Benoit Havard

Paris Mogador, 2020
70 x 70 x 2.2 cm


Evelyne Barbier, Sur la plage, Painting

Evelyne Barbier

Sur la plage, 2021
65 x 81 x 2 cm


Antoine De Tyssandier, Ukiyo, Painting

Antoine De Tyssandier

Ukiyo, 2020
130 x 97 x 2 cm


B. Jung, La mère et l'enfant, Painting

B. Jung

La mère et l'enfant, 1952
46 x 38 x 2 cm


B. Ciappa, Place du village animée, Painting

B. Ciappa

Place du village animée, 1947
32 x 26 x 2 cm


Jacek Rykala, The stairs, Painting

Jacek Rykala

The stairs, 2010
107 x 57 cm


Berthe Dubois, Paysage de montagne et chalets, Painting

Berthe Dubois

Paysage de montagne et chalets, 1946
38.5 x 44 x 2 cm


Marie-Claude Bosc, Le bistrot du monde d'avant - série théâtre à Paris, Painting

Marie-Claude Bosc

Le bistrot du monde d'avant - série théâtre à Paris, 2020
50 x 50 x 2 cm


Philippe Venin-Bernard, 30E4, Painting

Philippe Venin-Bernard

30E4, 1991
30 x 30 x 4 cm

$646 $718

Albena Vatcheva, Portrait aux perles, Painting

Albena Vatcheva

Portrait aux perles, 2021
80 x 80 x 2.5 cm

$4,200 $4,667

Raymond Attanasio, 1 aout 2021, Painting

Raymond Attanasio

1 aout 2021, 2021
100 x 81 x 3 cm

$2,010 $2,872

Linda Bachammar Clerget, Dans un autre paradis, Painting

Linda Bachammar Clerget

Dans un autre paradis, 2021
90 x 60 x 1 cm


Philippe Pasqua, Sans titre, Painting

Philippe Pasqua

Sans titre, 2018
220 x 170 x 2 cm


Wedad Alnasser, Resonant Self #2, Painting

Wedad Alnasser

Resonant Self #2, 2021
81 x 76 x 3 cm


Teppei Ikehila, Untitled, Painting

Teppei Ikehila

Untitled, 2021
33 x 33 x 3 cm


Angu Walters, The Last Cyclist, Painting

Angu Walters

The Last Cyclist, 2010
72 x 88 x 0.1 cm


Bastien Ducourtioux, Space memory, Painting

Bastien Ducourtioux

Space memory, 2019
124 x 68 x 2 cm


Lara Messina, Jump (little horse), Painting

Lara Messina

Jump (little horse), 2021
80 x 60 x 2 cm


Bao-Hua Dang, Series The Image Of Mountain No.1, Painting

Bao-Hua Dang

Series The Image Of Mountain No.1, 2018
40 x 40 x 4 cm


Christine Drummond, Nighttime Favela, Painting

Christine Drummond

Nighttime Favela, 2014
76.2 x 121.9 x 5.1 cm


Ruslana Levandovska, Gondola in Venice Italy, Painting

Ruslana Levandovska

Gondola in Venice Italy, 2021
76.2 x 61 x 1.9 cm

$1,620 $1,800

Anastasiia Danilenko, Turn around, Painting

Anastasiia Danilenko

Turn around, 2021
40 x 30 cm

$756 $945

Sandra Encaoua, Blue Yerushalaim, Painting

Sandra Encaoua

Blue Yerushalaim, 2021
50 x 50 x 5 cm


Not feeling very inspired? Get your personalised selection today