The great Art
Of all the visual art forms, painting is undoubtedly the one with the longest and richest history. Even today, when you ask a layperson about visual art, they are quite likely to think about painting.
Simply put, painting is the art of applying paints to a surface in order to produce a work of art. In the context of the Rue du Trésor, the paints used are either oil- or acrylic-based, while the surfaces are usually canvas, wood or heavy cardboard.
There are dozens of different painting schools to be found throughout history, from Pre-Raphaelites to hyperrealism. It is possible, however, to classify them in two broad categories: figurative and abstract. The term "figurative" is used to describe paintings that try to realistically depict a scene (such as the Alma-Tadema painting above), though the "realism" of the actual piece can be quite subjective (as in impressionistic or naive art). Abstract art, on the other hand, is less concerned with representing actual scenes than by expressing a concept or emotion through the use of abstract shapes and colors.
The list of famous painters goes on and on: figurative masters include Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Van Eyck, Toulouse-Lautrec, Monet, Seurat, Van Gogh, Dali, Magritte, etc. Masters of abstraction are mostly found in the twentieth century, and include Picasso, Kandinsky, Klee, Mondrian, Miro and many others.
As varied as the numerous styles of painting are the tools used to make them. Apart from the ubiquitous brush, artists also use palette knives, sponges, sticks, airbrushes, even their own body parts. With mixed-media art, it becomes even more eclectic, with glued-on objects and non-traditional materials being thrown in the array of possible techniques.
Support medium also comes in quite a variety: from the traditional canvas and wood panel to polymer surfaces, brick or concrete walls, metal, paper, silk, the human body, etc. The artist has complete freedom as far as choosing materials is concerned.
On the Rue du Trésor, eight artists use painting as their main mode of production: