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Painting in the Renaissance



Throughout history, paint has played a significant role in human expression. Whether it was used to accentuate a person’s living space or to help show one’s devotion to a higher power, without a doubt, it has been an invaluable creative tool. The origins of paint go back thousands of years to the time of cave dwellers, but perhaps one of its most interesting historical milestones was during the Renaissance time. The Renaissance gave way to a surge of artistic rejuvenation, which in turn helped bring about a revolution in the way paint was made. Aside from this historical blog, if you ever need help painting in a more contemporary means, do not hesitate to contact your local Houston Interior and exterior painting company, Pro Painters, for assistance.

During a time between the 14th Century and the 17th Century, or better known as the Renaissance, paint was derived from colorized pigments, which are naturally colorized powders. During this era, these pigments were sold by pharmacists or apothecaries, whose establishments were often owned and ran by medical guilds. As one might assume, it wasn’t uncommon for artists to befriend or become members of these pharmaceutical guilds, strictly for the discounted use of pigments.

Once the pigments were acquired, the artist would then carefully combine the powders with egg yolks and water. This was done by a simple, yet careful process. First, they would gently separate the egg whites from the yolk. It was very important that no white part of the egg remained, because the finished product would end up drying much too fast once it was applied. After the yolk was extracted, they would then poke the yolk and allow it to drain into a clean container along with a teaspoon of water. After a good stir, the mixture would then be balanced enough to bind with pigments. In most cases, artists would have to use fresh mixtures everyday, because once the initial blend was made, it would eventually go stale and begin to set. Now imagine how many eggs it took to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel!

The finished product of this mixture was called egg tempera, which of course, was just one of the many ways paint was created during this time. There were a variety of different concoctions made, depending on the surface in which they painted on. If you are ever looking for a fun and informative exercise to do with your family, try making some egg tempera! But once again, if you ever need assistance in a more modern setting, call the Houston based painting company, Pro Painters, to get the job done right.