Siege of Boston
The Siege of Boston was the opening phase of the American Revolutionary War. New England militiamen prevented the movement by land of the British Army, garrisoned in what was the peninsular city of Boston, Massachusetts Bay. Both sides had to deal with resource supply and personnel issues over the course of the siege. British resupply and reinforcement activities were limited to sea access. After eleven months of the siege, the British abandoned Boston by sailing to Nova Scotia; the siege began on April 19 after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, when the militia from surrounding Massachusetts communities blocked land access to Boston. The Continental Congress formed the Continental Army from the militia, with George Washington as its Commander in Chief. In June 1775, the British seized Bunker and Breed's Hills, from which the Continentals were preparing to bombard the city, but their casualties were heavy and their gains were insufficient to break the Continental Army's hold on land access to Boston.
The Americans laid siege to the British-occupied city. Military actions during the remainder of the siege were limited to occasional raids, minor skirmishes, sniper fire. In November 1775, Washington sent the 25-year-old bookseller-turned-soldier Henry Knox to bring to Boston the heavy artillery, captured at Fort Ticonderoga. In a technically complex and demanding operation, Knox brought many cannons to the Boston area by January 1776. In March 1776, these artillery fortified Dorchester Heights, thereby threatening the British supply lifeline; the British commander William Howe saw the British position as indefensible and withdrew the British forces in Boston to the British stronghold at Halifax, Nova Scotia, on March 17. Prior to 1775, the British had imposed taxes and import duties on the American colonies, to which the inhabitants objected since they lacked British Parliamentary representation. In response to the Boston Tea Party and other acts of protest, 4,000 British troops under the command of General Thomas Gage were sent to occupy Boston and to pacify the restive Province of Massachusetts Bay.
Parliament authorized Gage, among other actions. It was reformed into the Provincial Congress, continued to meet; the Provincial Congress called for the organization of local militias and coordinated the accumulation of weapons and other military supplies. Under the terms of the Boston Port Act, Gage closed the Boston port, which caused much unemployment and discontent; when British forces were sent to seize military supplies from the town of Concord on April 19, 1775, militia companies from surrounding towns opposed them in the Battles of Lexington and Concord. At Concord, some of the British forces were routed in a confrontation at the North Bridge; the British troops, on their march back to Boston, were engaged in a running battle, suffering heavy casualties. All of the New England colonies raised militias in response to this alarm, sent them to Boston. After the battles of April 19, the Massachusetts militia, under the loose leadership of William Heath, superseded by General Artemas Ward late on the 20th, formed a siege line extending from Chelsea, around the peninsulas of Boston and Charlestown, to Roxbury surrounding Boston on three sides.
They blocked the Charlestown Neck, the Boston Neck, leaving only the harbor and sea access under British control. In the days following the creation of the siege line, the size of the colonial forces grew, as militias from New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut arrived on the scene. General Gage wrote of his surprise of the number of rebels surrounding the city: "The rebels are not the despicable rabble too many have supposed them to be.... In all their wars against the French they never showed such conduct and perseverance as they do now."General Gage turned his attention to fortifying defensible positions. In the south, at Roxbury, Gage ordered lines of defenses with 10 twenty-four pound guns. In Boston proper, four hills were fortified, they were to be the main defense of the city. Over time, each of these hills were strengthened. Gage decided to abandon Charlestown, removing the beleaguered forces to Boston; the town of Charlestown itself was vacant, the high lands of Charlestown were left undefended, as were the heights of Dorchester, which had a commanding view of the harbor and the city.
The British at first restricted movement in and out of the city, fearing infiltration of weapons. Besieged and besiegers reached an informal agreement allowing traffic on the Boston Neck, provided no firearms were carried. Residents of Boston turned in 2,000 muskets, most of the Patriot residents left the city. Many Loyalists who lived outside the city of Boston fled into the city. Most of them felt that it was not safe to live outside of the city, because the Patriots were now in control of the countryside; some of the men, after arriving in Boston, joined Loyalist regiments attached to the British army. Because the siege did not blockade the harbor, the city remained open for the Royal Navy, under Vice Admiral Samuel Graves, to bring in supplies from Nova Scotia and other places. Colonial forces could do little to stop these shipments due to the naval supremacy of the British fleet. American privateers were able to harass supply ships, food prices rose quickly. Soon the shortages
The Death of General Montgomery in the Attack on Quebec, December 31, 1775
The Death of General Montgomery in the Attack on Quebec, December 31, 1775 is an oil painting completed in 1786 by the American artist John Trumbull depicting the death of the American general Richard Montgomery at the Battle of Quebec on December 31, 1775, during the invasion of Quebec, a major military operation by the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War. The painting is on view at the Yale University Art Gallery in Connecticut, it is the second in Trumbull's series of national historical paintings on the war, the first being The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker's Hill, June 17, 1775. Trumbull went to London in 1784 to study painting with Benjamin West, historical painter to King George III. West, himself famous for such paintings as The Death of General Wolfe, suggested that Trumbull paint great events of the American Revolution; the first was The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker's Hill, June 17, 1775, started in the fall of 1785 and finished early in 1786.
The second was this painting, finished in June 1786. Both were painted in West's London studio. In July 1786, Trumbull traveled to Paris and stayed at the Hôtel de Langeac at the invitation of Thomas Jefferson, the American minister to France. Jefferson gave "his warm approbation" to these two works and assisted Trumbull with the early composition of the Declaration of Independence. General Richard Montgomery is shown in full military uniform, illuminated in the middle of the painting, having been fatally wounded by grapeshot and supported by Matthias Ogden. In front of them are two of Montgomery's aides-de-camp, Captains Jacob Cheeseman and John MacPherson, both dead, lying in the snow, near a broken cannon. Behind Montgomery and Ogden are Lieutenant Samuel Cooper and Lieutenant Colonel Donald Campbell. To the left are Lieutenant John Humphries and Oneida chief Joseph Louis Cook, shown with raised tomahawk. Major Return Jonathan Meigs with Captains Samuel Ward and William Hendricks are in the left foreground shown in shock at Montgomery's death.
On the far right is Colonel William Thompson of the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment. Art historian Paul Staiti notes that Ogden was with Benedict Arnold attacking a different part of the city during the battle and that Aaron Burr, Montgomery's aide-de-camp, should have been depicted instead. Historian Nancy Isenberg notes evidence that Burr had attempted to retrieve the general's body, but notes doubts about its accuracy. Trumbull described the scene in the catalogue for his exhibited works at Yale University in 1835: Grief and surprise mark the countenances of the various characters; the earth covered with snow,–trees stripped of their foliage,–the desolation of winter, the gloom of night, heighten the melancholy character of the scene. A large scale version painted in 1834, is owned by the Wadsworth Atheneum in Connecticut. Johan Frederik Clemens engraved a version, The Death of General Montgomery, In the Attack of Quebec, December 1775, in 1798. Christian Wilhelm Ketterlinus engraved a version, The Death of General Montgomery at Quebec, published in 1808, copied from a print by Clemens.
The composition of this work has been compared to West's The Death of General Wolfe, completed in 1770, that depicts the Battle of the Plains of Abraham at Quebec City, on September 13, 1759. Both show the death of heroic generals; the influence of two works by John Singleton Copley, The Death of the Earl of Chatham and The Death of Major Peirson, 6 January 1781, has been noted. "The Death of General Montgomery in the Attack on Quebec, December 31, 1775,". Inventory of American Sculpture, Smithsonian Institution Research Information System. Smithsonian American Art Museum. IAP 07261659. Owner: Yale University Art Gallery "The Death of General Montgomery in the Attack on Quebec, December 31, 1775,". Inventory of American Sculpture, Smithsonian Institution Research Information System. Smithsonian American Art Museum. IAP 06910062. Owner: Wadsworth Atheneum
John Trumbull was an American artist during the period of the American Revolutionary War and was notable for his historical paintings. He has been called The Painter of the Revolution. Trumbull's Declaration of Independence, one of his four paintings which hang in the United States Capitol Rotunda, was used on the reverse of the commemorative bicentennial two-dollar bill. Trumbull was born in Lebanon, Connecticut, in 1756, to Jonathan Trumbull and his wife Faith Trumbull, his father served as Governor of Connecticut from 1769 to 1784. Both sides of his family were descended from early Puritan settlers in the state, he had two older brothers, Joseph Trumbull, the first commissary general of the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War, Jonathan Trumbull Jr. who would become the second Speaker of the House of the United States. The young Trumbull entered the 1771 junior class at Harvard College at age fifteen and graduated in 1773. Due to a childhood accident, Trumbull lost use of one eye; this may have influenced his detailed painting style.
As a soldier in the American Revolutionary War, Trumbull rendered a particular service at Boston by sketching plans of the British and American lines and works. He witnessed the Battle of Bunker Hill, he was appointed second personal aide to General George Washington, in June 1776, deputy adjutant-general to General Horatio Gates. He resigned from the army in 1777 after a dispute over the dating of his officer commission. In 1780, with funds depleted, Trumbull turned to art as a profession, he traveled to London, where upon introduction from Benjamin Franklin, Trumbull studied under Benjamin West. At West's suggestion, Trumbull painted small pictures of the War of Independence and miniature portraits, he painted about 250 in his lifetime. On September 23, 1780, British agent Major John André was captured by Continental troops in North America. After news reached Great Britain, outrage flared and Trumbull was arrested, as having been an officer in the Continental Army of similar rank to André, he was imprisoned for seven months in London's Tothill Fields Bridewell.
After being released, Trumbull returned to the United States in a voyage that lasted six months, ending late January 1782. He joined his brother David in supplying the army stationed at New Windsor, New York during the winter of 1782–83. In 1784, following Britain's recognition of the United States' independence, Trumbull returned to London for painting study under West. While working in his studio, Trumbull painted Battle of Bunker Hill and Death of General Montgomery in the Attack on Quebec. Both works are now in the Yale University Art Gallery. In July 1786, Trumbull went to Paris, where he made portrait sketches of French officers for the Surrender of Lord Cornwallis. With the assistance of Thomas Jefferson, serving there as the American minister to France, Trumbull began the early composition of the Declaration of Independence. Over the next 5 years Trumbull painted small portraits of signers, which he would use to piece together the larger painting. If the signer was deceased, a previous portrait would be copied, as was the case with Arthur Middleton, whose head position stands out in the painting.
While visiting with each signer or their family, always looking for funding, used the occasion to sell subscriptions to engravings that would be produced from his paintings of the American Revolution. While in Paris, Trumbull is credited with having introduced Jefferson to the Italian painter Maria Cosway. Trumbull's painting of Jefferson, commissioned by Cosway, became known due to a engraving of it by Asher Brown Durand, reproduced. Trumbull's Declaration of Independence painting was purchased by the United States Congress, along with his Surrender of General Burgoyne, Surrender of Lord Cornwallis, General George Washington Resigning His Commission, all related to the Revolution. All now hang in rotunda of the United States Capitol. Congress authorized only funds sufficient to purchase these four paintings. Trumbull completed several other paintings related to the Revolution: Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker's Hill; this was once owned by the Boston Athenaeum and is now held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Trumbull encountered hard times. After many years of trying to create income from his painting, he had found a way to sustain himself from his art; this is by far the largest single collection of his works. The collection was housed in a neoclassical art gallery designed by Trumbull on Yale's Old Campus, along with portraits by other artists, his portraits include full lengths of General Washington and George Clinton, now held in New York City Hall. New York bought his full-length paintings of Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. In 1791 Trumbull was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Sciences, he painted portraits of John Adams, Jonathan Trumbull, Rufus King.
The Philadelphia campaign was a British initiative in the American Revolutionary War to gain control of Philadelphia, the seat of the Second Continental Congress. British General William Howe, after unsuccessfully attempting to draw the Continental Army under General George Washington into a battle in northern New Jersey, embarked his army on transports, landed them at the northern end of Chesapeake Bay. From there, he advanced northward toward Philadelphia. Washington prepared defenses against Howe's movements at Brandywine Creek, but was flanked and beaten back in the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777. After further skirmishes and maneuvers, Howe was able to occupy Philadelphia. Washington unsuccessfully attacked one of Howe's garrisons at Germantown before retreating to Valley Forge for the winter. Howe's campaign was controversial because, although he captured the American capital of Philadelphia, he proceeded and did not aid the concurrent campaign of John Burgoyne further north, which ended in disaster at Saratoga for the British, brought France into the war.
General Howe resigned during the occupation of Philadelphia and was replaced by his second-in-command, General Sir Henry Clinton. Clinton evacuated the troops from Philadelphia back to New York City in 1778 in order to increase that city's defenses against a possible Franco-American attack. Washington harried the British army all the way across New Jersey, forced a battle at Monmouth Court House, one of the largest battles of the war. At the end of the campaign the two armies were in the same positions they were at its beginning. Following General William Howe's successful capture of New York City, George Washington's successful actions at Trenton and Princeton, the two armies settled into an uneasy stalemate in the winter months of early 1777. While this time was punctuated by numerous skirmishes, the British army continued to occupy outposts at New Brunswick and Perth Amboy, New Jersey. General Howe had proposed to George Germain, the British civilian official responsible for conduct of the war, an expedition for 1777 to capture Philadelphia, the seat of the rebellious Second Continental Congress.
Germain approved his plan. He approved plans by John Burgoyne for an expedition to "force his way to Albany" from Montreal. Germain's approval of Howe's expedition included the expectation that Howe would be able to assist Burgoyne, effecting a junction at Albany between the forces of Burgoyne and troops that Howe would send north from New York City. Howe decided by early April against taking his army overland to Philadelphia through New Jersey, as this would entail a difficult crossing of the broad Delaware River under hostile conditions, it would require the transportation or construction of the necessary watercraft. Howe's plan, sent to Germain on April 2 effectively isolated Burgoyne from any possibility of significant support, since Howe would be taking his army by sea to Philadelphia, the New York garrison would be too small for any significant offensive operations up the Hudson River to assist Burgoyne. Washington realized. Burgoyne" and was baffled why he did not do so. Washington at the time and historians since have puzzled over the reason Howe was not in place to come to the relief of General John Burgoyne, whose invasion army from Canada was surrounded and captured by the Americans in October.
Historians agree. Following Howe's capture of New York and Washington's retreat across the Delaware, Howe on December 20, 1776 wrote to Germain, proposing an elaborate set of campaigns for 1777; these included operations to gain control of the Hudson River, expand operations from the base at Newport, Rhode Island, take the seat of the rebel Continental Congress, Philadelphia. The latter Howe saw as attractive, since Washington was just north of the city: Howe wrote that he was "persuaded the Principal Army should act offensively, where the enemy's chief strength lies." Germain acknowledged that this plan was "well digested", but it called for more men than Germain was prepared to provide. After the setbacks in New Jersey, Howe in mid-January 1777 proposed operations against Philadelphia that included an overland expedition and a sea-based attack, thinking this might lead to a decisive victory over the Continental Army; this plan was developed to the extent that in April Howe's army was seen constructing pontoon bridges.
However, by mid-May Howe had abandoned the idea of an overland expedition: "I propose to invade Pennsylvania by sea... we must abandon the Jersies."Howe's decision to not assist Burgoyne may have been rooted in Howe's perception that Burgoyne would receive credit for a successful campaign if it required Howe's help. Historian John Alden notes the jealousies among various British leaders, saying, "It is, as jealous of Burgoyne as Burgoyne was of him and that he was not eager to do anything which might assist his junior up the ladder of military renown." Along the same lines Don Higginbotham concludes that in Howe's view, " was Burgoyne's whole show, he wanted little to do with it. With regard to Burgoyne's army, he would do only what was required of him." Howe himself wrote to Burgoyne
United States Military Academy
The United States Military Academy known as West Point, Army West Point, The Academy, or The Point, is a four-year federal service academy in West Point, New York. It was established as a fort that sits on strategic high ground overlooking the Hudson River with a scenic view, 50 miles north of New York City, it is one of the five U. S. service academies. The Academy traces its roots to 1801, when President Thomas Jefferson directed, shortly after his inauguration, that plans be set in motion to establish the United States Military Academy at West Point; the entire central campus is a national landmark and home to scores of historic sites and monuments. The majority of the campus's Norman-style buildings are constructed from black granite; the campus is a popular tourist destination, with a visitor center and the oldest museum in the United States Army. Candidates for admission must both apply directly to the academy and receive a nomination from a member of Congress or Delegate/Resident Commissioner in the case of Washington, D.
C. Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands. Other nomination sources include the Vice President of the United States. Students are officers-in-training and are referred to as "cadets" or collectively as the "United States Corps of Cadets". Tuition for cadets is funded by the Army in exchange for an active duty service obligation upon graduation. 1,300 cadets enter the Academy each July, with about 1,000 cadets graduating. The academic program grants a bachelor of science degree with a curriculum that grades cadets' performance upon a broad academic program, military leadership performance, mandatory participation in competitive athletics. Cadets are required to adhere to the Cadet Honor Code, which states that "a cadet will not lie, steal, or tolerate those who do." The academy bases a cadet's leadership experience as a development of all three pillars of performance: academics and military. Most graduates are commissioned as second lieutenants in the Army. Foreign cadets are commissioned into the armies of their home countries.
Since 1959, cadets have been eligible for an interservice commission, a commission in one of the other armed services, provided they meet that service's eligibility standards. Most years, a small number of cadets do this; the academy's traditions have influenced other institutions because of unique mission. It was the first American college to have an accredited civil-engineering program and the first to have class rings, its technical curriculum was a model for engineering schools. West Point's student body has lexicon. All cadets dine together en masse on weekdays for breakfast and lunch; the academy fields fifteen men's and nine women's National Collegiate Athletic Association sports teams. Cadets compete in one sport every fall and spring season at the intramural, club, or intercollegiate level, its football team was a national power in the early and mid-20th century, winning three national championships. Its alumni and students are collectively referred to as "The Long Gray Line" and its ranks include two Presidents of the United States, presidents of Costa Rica and the Philippines, numerous famous generals, seventy-six Medal of Honor recipients.
The Continental Army first occupied West Point, New York, on 27 January 1778, it is the oldest continuously operating Army post in the United States. Between 1778 and 1780, the Polish engineer and military hero Tadeusz Kościuszko oversaw the construction of the garrison defenses; the Great Hudson River Chain and high ground above the narrow "S" curve in the river enabled the Continental Army to prevent British Royal Navy ships from sailing upriver and thus dividing the Colonies. While the fortifications at West Point were known as Fort Arnold during the war, as commander, Benedict Arnold committed his act of treason, attempting to sell the fort to the British. After Arnold betrayed the patriot cause, the Army changed the name of the fortifications at West Point, New York, to Fort Clinton. With the peace after the American Revolutionary War, various ordnance and military stores were left deposited at West Point. After the Continental Army was disbanded 1783, West Point was the only place in the newly formed United States to have active military personel, 80 in total, until Legion of the United States was established in 1792."Cadets" underwent training in artillery and engineering studies at the garrison since 1794.
In 1801, shortly after his inauguration as president, Thomas Jefferson directed that plans be set in motion to establish at West Point the United States Military Academy. He selected Jonathan Williams to serve as its first superintendent. Congress formally authorized the establishment and funding of the school with the Military Peace Establishment Act of 1802, which Jefferson signed on 16 March; the academy commenced operations on 4 July 1802. The academy graduated Joseph Gardner Swift, its first official graduate, in October 1802, he returned as Superintendent from 1812 to 1814. In its tumultuous early years, the academy featured few standards for length of study. Cadets attended between 6 months to 6 years; the impending War of 1812 caused the United States Congress to authorize a more formal system of education at the academy and increased the size of the Corps of Cadets to 250. In 1817, Colonel Sylvanus Thayer became the Superintendent and established the curriculum, elements of which are still in use as of 2015.
Thayer instilled strict disciplinary
1780 in art
Events from the year 1780 in art. George Washington Jacques-Louis David Portrait of Count Stanislas Potocki Saint Roch Interceding with the Virgin for the Plague-Stricken Jean-Pierre Norblin de La Gourdaine – Les Marionettes polonaises Francisco Goya – Christ Crucified Francis Holman – The moonlight Battle of Cape St Vincent, 16 January 1780 Jacob More Landscape with Classical Figures, Cicero at his Villa Mount Vesuvius in Eruption: The Last Days of Pompeii Sir Joshua Reynolds – The Ladies Waldegrave Francis Wheatley – The Irish House of Commons Johann Zoffany Double Portrait of Henry and Mary Styleman Portrait of Tipu Sultan January 10 – Pieter Christoffel Wonder, Dutch painter active in England February 15 – Alfred Edward Chalon, Swiss portrait painter February 18 – Alexey Venetsianov, Russian genre painter April 14 – Edward Hicks, American folk artist June 12 – Henry Hoppner Meyer, English portrait painter August 8 – Étienne Bouhot, French painter and art teacher August 29 – Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, French Neoclassical painter September – Samuel Colman, English painter September 15 – Johann Peter Krafft, German-Austrian painter October 26 – Alexandre-Évariste Fragonard, French painter and sculptor in the troubadour style date unknown Johann Adam Ackermann, German landscape painter Giovacchino Cantini, Italian engraver Jan Krzysztof Damel, Lithuanian neoclassicist painter February 14 – Gabriel de Saint-Aubin, French draftsman, printmaker and painter February 21 – Francesco Foschi, Italian landscape painter March 3 – Joseph Highmore, British portrait and historical painter May 6 – Gaspare Bazzani, Italian painter active in Reggio as a painter of vedute or landscapes July 11 – Luis Egidio Meléndez, Spanish still-life painter September 6 – Françoise Basseporte, French court painter September 7 – Pieter Barbiers, Dutch painter October 17 – Bernardo Bellotto, Italian urban landscape painter or vedutista, printmaker in etching date unknown James Giles, British porcelain decorator Dionigi Valesi, Italian printmaker active in Verona and Venice probable Robert Hunter, Irish painter Nicolas Jean Baptiste Poilly, French draftsman and engraver Rocco Pozzi, Italian painter and engraver Wenceslaus Werlin, Austrian portrait artist
Oil paint is a type of slow-drying paint that consists of particles of pigment suspended in a drying oil linseed oil. The viscosity of the paint may be modified by the addition of a solvent such as turpentine or white spirit, varnish may be added to increase the glossiness of the dried oil paint film. Oil paints have been used in Europe since the 12th century for simple decoration, but were not adopted as an artistic medium until the early 15th century. Common modern applications of oil paint are in finishing and protection of wood in buildings and exposed metal structures such as ships and bridges, its hard-wearing properties and luminous colors make it desirable for both interior and exterior use on wood and metal. Due to its slow-drying properties, it has been used in paint-on-glass animation. Thickness of coat has considerable bearing on time required for drying: thin coats of oil paint dry quickly; the technical history of the introduction and development of oil paint, the date of introduction of various additives is still—despite intense research since the mid 19th century—not well understood.
The literature abounds with incorrect theories and information: in general, anything published before 1952 is suspect. Until 1991 nothing was known about the organic aspect of cave paintings from the Paleolithic era. Many assumptions were made about the chemistry of the binders; the oldest known oil paintings date from 650 AD, found in 2008 in caves in Afghanistan's Bamiyan Valley, "using walnut and poppy seed oils." Though the ancient Mediterranean civilizations of Greece and Egypt used vegetable oils, there is little evidence to indicate their use as media in painting. Indeed, linseed oil was not used as a medium because of its tendency to dry slowly and crack, unlike mastic and wax. Greek writers such as Aetius Amidenus recorded recipes involving the use of oils for drying, such as walnut, hempseed, pine nut and linseed; when thickened, the oils became resinous and could be used as varnish to seal and protect paintings from water. Additionally, when yellow pigment was added to oil, it could be spread over tin foil as a less expensive alternative to gold leaf.
Early Christian monks used the techniques in their own artworks. Theophilus Presbyter, a 12th-century German monk, recommended linseed oil but advocated against the use of olive oil due to its long drying time. Oil paint was used as it is today in house decoration, as a tough waterproof cover for exposed woodwork outdoors. In the 13th century, oil was used to detail tempera paintings. In the 14th century, Cennino Cennini described a painting technique utilizing tempera painting covered by light layers of oil; the slow-drying properties of organic oils were known to early painters. However, the difficulty in acquiring and working the materials meant that they were used; as public preference for naturalism increased, the quick-drying tempera paints became insufficient to achieve the detailed and precise effects that oil could achieve. The Early Netherlandish painting of the 15th century saw the rise of the panel painting purely in oils, or oil painting, or works combining tempera and oil painting, by the 16th century easel painting in pure oils had become the norm, using much the same techniques and materials found today.
The claim by Vasari that Jan van Eyck "invented" oil painting, while it has cast a long shadow, is not correct, but van Eyck's use of oil paint achieved novel results in terms of precise detail and mixing colours wet-on-wet with a skill hardly equalled since. Van Eyck’s mixture may have consisted of piled glass, calcined bones, mineral pigments boiled in linseed oil until they reached a viscous state—or he may have used sun-thickened oils, he left no written documentation. The Flemish-trained or influenced Antonello da Messina, who Vasari wrongly credited with the introduction of oil paint to Italy, does seem to have improved the formula by adding litharge, or lead oxide; the new mixture had better drying properties. This mixture was known as oglio cotto—"cooked oil." Leonardo da Vinci improved these techniques by cooking the mixture at a low temperature and adding 5 to 10% beeswax, which prevented darkening of the paint. Giorgione and Tintoretto each may have altered this recipe for their own purposes.
The paint tube was invented in 1841 by portrait painter John Goffe Rand, superseding pig bladders and glass syringes as the primary tool of paint transport. Artists, or their assistants ground each pigment by hand mixing the binding oil in the proper proportions. Paints could now be sold in tin tubes with a cap; the cap could be screwed back on and the paints preserved for future use, providing flexibility and efficiency to painting outdoors. The manufactured paints had a balanced consistency that the artist could thin with oil, turpentine, or other mediums. Paint in tubes changed the way some artists approached painting; the artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir said, “Without tubes of paint, there would have been no Impressionism.” For the impressionists, tubed paints offered an accessible variety of colors for their plein air palettes, motivating them to make spontaneous color choices. With greater quantities of preserved paint, they were able to apply paint more thickly. Traditional oil paints require an oil that always hardens, forming a impermeable film.
Such oils are called siccative, or drying and are characterized by high levels of po