Today we welcome I am Abi as a guest blogger to talk about traditional and digital painting.
Traditional and digital painting are often viewed as opposing camps in the art world. But regardless of where you stand in the unending traditional-versus-digital debate, you’ve got to admit that each form has its quirks and wonders! Here are 8 interesting facts about traditional and digital painting that you certainly won’t hear everyday.
The Oldest Painting in the World (So Far) Features Cattle
The walls of Borneo’s Lubang Jeriji Saléh Cave feature red-orange paintings of large wild cattle-like beasts. One particular figure dates to between 40,000 and 52,000 years old, making it the oldest figurative painting in the world!
This style of cave art is strikingly similar to paintings found in Western Europe and dated to be nearly as old.
The First Digital Artworks in the World Were Made on a Converted Anti-Aircraft System
John Whitney Sr. is widely regarded as one of the fathers of computer graphics, as well as the brains behind the animated title sequence of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958). However, the analogue computer on which Whitney generated his creations could have been a masterpiece in itself. Whitney and his brother James built the drawing machine from a WWII-era anti-aircraft system!
The First Synthetic Pigment Originated from Egypt
The striking blue stripes on the golden coffins of pharaohs comes from the pigment Egyptian blue, or calcium copper silicate. The Egyptians heated quartz sand, copper, lime, and an alkali to create a pigment stable enough to last entire millennia. Ancient Egyptians associated the color with divinity and used the color in depictions of the sky, the Nile, and deities such as the sun god Ra.
The Earliest Digital Painting Program Ran on the First Mac PCs
The first version of MacPaint came out in the early 1980s as a program on the original Apple Macintosh. This program allowed users to draw and manipulate objects, as well as produce graphics that other applications could use. Although MacPaint seems charmingly simple compared to modern-day graphics editors, its freehand drawing capabilities made it revolutionary for its time!
The Most Expensive Painting Pigment Ever is Made of Crushed Gemstones
Natural ultramarine pigment comes from semi-precious lapis lazuli stones, ground into powder. It was more expensive than gold during the Renaissance, when painters reserved its rich blue hue for the central figures in their works. The crystalline structure of lapis lazuli lent a shimmering, ever-changing finish to any traditional painting.
The Most Expensive Traditional Paintings are Both By Leonardo da Vinci
Aside from being one of the most famous paintings in the world, the Mona Lisa currently has the highest ever insurance value for a traditional painting! It assessed at $100 million on December 14, 1962, or a whopping $830 million in 2018 considering inflation.
It’s not surprising, then, that a painting by da Vinci can easily fetch a record-breaking price if put on sale. Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi brought in a record $450.3M when it sold in November 2017. It is now believed to be onboard the Serene, a super yacht owned by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.
The First Art Exhibition that Included Digital Art Took Place in 1968
In 1968, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London welcomed visitors to its Cybernetic Serendipity exhibition. Digital graphics, including computer art produced by cathode ray oscilloscopes, went on display together with Jean Tinguely’s painting machines and Nam June Paik’s Robot K-456.
The Largest Online Platform for Digital Art Was Originally Meant for Media Player Skins
DeviantArt started out in August 2000 as a site to share colorful skins for Winamp and other media players. Plus, co-founder Angelo Sotira was just 19 years old when the site took off! DeviantArt is now a hub for budding digital painters, enjoying 65,000 new uploads daily despite the rise of other platforms like Tumblr, Instagram, and Behance.
It’s amazing what you can find out if you take a close look at art history, whether you focus on traditional or digital paintings. Feel free to share these 8 interesting facts with your friends, especially if you somehow wind up discussing art or visiting an exhibit in the near future. They might know a few fascinating bits of trivia themselves!