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Oil Paintings

In the early 15th century, Jan van Eyck and his Flemish peers popularized the use of linseed oil to carry pigments. By the 16th century, oil painting had replaced tempera almost completely and artists were using it to create life-like renderings of their world. Oil has kept its place as the medium of choice in painting through contemporary times.

Oil paint has a jewel-like translucence in comparison to the flat, bright colors and velvety opacity of the egg tempera that it replaced. Artists can apply oil paint in thin, glowing layers to achieve an extremely life-like sense of depth. They can also build it into heavy, textured impasto that projects out from the surface. Oil dries slowly, so the artist can manipulate it after the paint is applied.


Quick Facts

  • Beginning in the mid-20th century, oil painter artists began using household gloss paint instead of linseed oil paint
  • Damien Hirst’s workshop uses gloss paint for his dot paintings. These paints dry fast, but their colors are less stable over time and are a worry for conservators
  • Leonardo used his fingers to blend oil paint he had applied. Visitors can see the Renaissance master’s fingerprints in "Ginevra di’ Benci," c. 1474/78, at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Recommended Items at Auction

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Shirley Goldfarb, 1925-1980, Untitled
Nov 29, 6:00 PM CET
Shirley Goldfarb, 1925-1980, Untitled
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF800- CHF1,200
CHF2,00011 Bids
Turo Pedretti, 1896-1964, Spät-Herbst am Inn (Late Autumn at the Inn) (*)
Nov 29, 6:00 PM CET
Turo Pedretti, 1896-1964, Spät-Herbst am Inn (Late Autumn at the Inn) (*)
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF2,000- CHF3,000
CHF3,8004 Bids
Carl Liner, 1914-1997, Schwendetal (Appenzell)
Nov 29, 6:00 PM CET
Carl Liner, 1914-1997, Schwendetal (Appenzell)
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF2,000- CHF3,000
CHF1,8002 Bids
Sawat Tantisuk, 1925-2009, Floating Market
Nov 29, 6:00 PM CET
Sawat Tantisuk, 1925-2009, Floating Market
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF1,500- CHF3,000
CHF1,5002 Bids
Walter Grab, 1927-1989, Begegnung (Encounter)
Nov 29, 6:00 PM CET
Walter Grab, 1927-1989, Begegnung (Encounter)
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF400- CHF600
CHF3601 Bid
Ernesto Tatafiore, 1943, Pescatore meravigliato dalla varietà dei pesci (*)
Nov 29, 6:00 PM CET
Ernesto Tatafiore, 1943, Pescatore meravigliato dalla varietà dei pesci (*)
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF800- CHF1,200
CHF7001 Bid
Reinhold Kündig, 1888-1984, 2 Paintings: Landscapes
Nov 29, 6:00 PM CET
Reinhold Kündig, 1888-1984, 2 Paintings: Landscapes
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF700- CHF1,000
CHF6001 Bid
Frieda Martha, 1941, Untitled
Nov 29, 6:00 PM CET
Frieda Martha, 1941, Untitled
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF400- CHF600
CHF3601 Bid
Hans Erni, 1909-2015, Frau und Pferd (Woman and Horse)
Nov 29, 6:00 PM CET
Hans Erni, 1909-2015, Frau und Pferd (Woman and Horse)
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF800- CHF1,200
CHF7001 Bid
Henry Bischoff, 1882-1951, Course de ferme (Farms)
Nov 29, 6:00 PM CET
Henry Bischoff, 1882-1951, Course de ferme (Farms)
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF300- CHF600
CHF2601 Bid
Ossip Lubitch, 1896-1990, Fleurs (Flowers)
Nov 29, 6:00 PM CET
Ossip Lubitch, 1896-1990, Fleurs (Flowers)
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF200- CHF300
CHF1800 Bids
Wilfrid Moser, 1914-1997, Untitled
Nov 29, 6:00 PM CET
Wilfrid Moser, 1914-1997, Untitled
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF300- CHF600
CHF2600 Bids
Fred Engelbert Knecht, 1934-2010, Von Paris zurück (Back from Paris)
Nov 29, 6:00 PM CET
Fred Engelbert Knecht, 1934-2010, Von Paris zurück (Back from Paris)
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF1,000- CHF1,500
CHF9000 Bids
Robert Salomon Gessner, 1908-1982, La Ciudadela XIV
Nov 29, 6:00 PM CET
Robert Salomon Gessner, 1908-1982, La Ciudadela XIV
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF1,500- CHF2,000
CHF1,3000 Bids
Julius Adam II, 1852-1913, Kätzchen (Kittens)
Nov 29, 6:00 PM CET
Julius Adam II, 1852-1913, Kätzchen (Kittens)
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF4,000- CHF7,000
CHF3,6000 Bids
Carl Liner, 1914-1997, Küste (Coast)
Nov 29, 6:00 PM CET
Carl Liner, 1914-1997, Küste (Coast)
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF2,500- CHF4,500
CHF2,2000 Bids
Carl Liner, 1914-1997, Untitled
Nov 29, 6:00 PM CET
Carl Liner, 1914-1997, Untitled
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF2,000- CHF4,000
CHF1,8000 Bids
Max Marti, 1923, Sonnenzeichen (Sun Sign)
Nov 29, 6:00 PM CET
Max Marti, 1923, Sonnenzeichen (Sun Sign)
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF300- CHF600
CHF2600 Bids
Christian Peltenburg-Brechneff, 1950, Treepainting Nr. II
Nov 29, 6:00 PM CET
Christian Peltenburg-Brechneff, 1950, Treepainting Nr. II
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF4,000- CHF6,000
CHF3,6000 Bids
Peter Robert Berry, 1912-1983, Scenery
Nov 29, 6:00 PM CET
Peter Robert Berry, 1912-1983, Scenery
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF1,000- CHF1,200
CHF9000 Bids
Samuel Buri, 1935, Sonnenblumen, orange (Sunflowers, orange)
Nov 29, 6:00 PM CET
Samuel Buri, 1935, Sonnenblumen, orange (Sunflowers, orange)
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF1,500- CHF2,000
CHF1,3000 Bids
Mario Comensoli, 1922-1993, Donna con borsetta
Nov 29, 6:00 PM CET
Mario Comensoli, 1922-1993, Donna con borsetta
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF4,000- CHF6,000
CHF3,6000 Bids
Mario Sala, 1965, Schlafzimmer, Draussen (Bedroom, Outside)
Nov 29, 6:00 PM CET
Mario Sala, 1965, Schlafzimmer, Draussen (Bedroom, Outside)
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF800- CHF1,200
CHF7000 Bids
Hans Witschi, 1954, Die Blüte (The Blossom)
Nov 29, 6:00 PM CET
Hans Witschi, 1954, Die Blüte (The Blossom)
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF1,000- CHF1,500
CHF9000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Oil Paintings


Germann Auction House Ltd

Germann Auction House Ltd

Aste Boetto SRL

Aste Boetto SRL