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March 8, 2010

History of Watercolor Painting

Painting is an ancient practice. Watercolor painting likely graced the walls of paleolithic caves in Europe. After all, mixing colored pigments with water is a simple process. Watercolor paints were used in creating manuscripts as early as Egyptian times, but especially in the illuminated manuscripts of the European Middle Ages. Watercolor paints, as we know them, owe their formula to painters during the Northern Renaissance who experimented with binders and mediums for painting. Thus watercolor as an art medium begins roughly at the time of the Renaissance. Albrecht Durer (1471–1528), a German Northern Renaissance artist, who painted several fine botanical, wildlife, and landscape watercolors, is considered one of the earliest watercolor artists.

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