In this lecture, Dr Nguyen Dinh Dang begins with the 15th century discovery of Jan Van Eyck, who pioneered a special painting varnish that “reinvented” oil painting, making it the most popular and effective medium in the whole history of European painting. The transition from using wood panels to using canvas as the painting support helped oil painting to spread all over the world.
Starting from the 19th century, the rigid and dogmatic system of teaching the fine-arts at European academies led to the French Impressionist revolution in fine-arts. The 20th century witnessed a boom of art movements and the fall of oil painting itself from the technical point of view of handling the medium.
Dr Nguyen believes that, although oil painting may have been born in Asia, oil painting flourished here only after being imported from Europe in around the 19th century, seemingly previously detached from the multilayer painting tradition, developed by the great Renaissance and Baroque masters. This tradition has never been propagated in the art schools in Vietnam. Dr Nguyen Dinh Dang believes that oil painting can recover its glory only if the multilayer painting techniques are systematically taught to fine-art students and practiced by artists. This lecture forms part of a series of lectures and articles, which Dr Nguyen Dinh Dang has been carrying out since 2009 with the aim of introducing the multilayer oil painting techniques to art students and artists in Vietnam.
This lecture is free of charge and presented in Vietnamese with translated English document handout to foreigners. Due to the limited availability of seats, early registration online here is strongly recommended to ensure your participation.
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*Image features The Ghent Altarpiece (opened), 1432, by Hubert and Jan Van Eyck
Medium: Oil on panel.