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Easel Picture


An easel refers to a portable stand or frame commonly of wood serving required to hold a canvas upright for the painterís convenience or for the sake of displaying something. Easel Picture or an Easel Piece is essentially a painting of reasonable size as distinguished from a painting on a wall or ceiling. An easel can be of full height which can stand by itself on the floor. Shorter Easels are also in vogue which can be used on a table. Easels are usually made of wood, aluminum or steel.

History of Easel Painting

The word easel is derived from the Dutch word Ďezelí meaning ass or donkey. The ancient Egyptians were well versed with the art of easel painting. Pliny the Elder, referred to a large panel being painted placed on an easel in the first century.

Monks used easel type writing desks which assisted them to paint their enlightened manuscripts in the 12th century. However, it took a long time for the painting on Easels to replace murals and other forms of wall painting.

The art of Easel Painting flourished during the Renaissance period. The Easels brought a sea change in the manner in which the painters worked. Easel painting in an artistís studio came to be recognized as an established art for the first time and simultaneously individual artists came up with their distinctive style of painting.

Common Designs for Easels

  • Tripod Designs- In Tripod designs Easels have three legs. However, variations can be there including Crossbars to make the Easel more stable.

  • H-Frame Designs- H-Frame Designs are based on right angles.

Use of Easels- The common usages of Easels are as follows-
  • Studio Easels- Studio Easels vary in designs from being simple to complex including winches, multiple masts and casters. Studio Easels are the largest with some having the capacity of supporting weight unto 200lb.

  • Field Easels- Field Easels are generally portable in nature and meant for the purpose of outdoor paintings. They are generally mid sized or small .French Box easels even include compartments for storing art supplies.

  • Display Easels- Display Easels are generally very simple in design and are typically meant for displaying finished works.

    Famous Easel Painters- Some of the famous Easel painters are as follows-

  • Claude Clark
  • Benjamin West
  • John Ramage
  • Edward Greene Malbone
  • Anson Dickinson
  • Charles Fraser
  • Domenico Fetti

Amateur artists can set up their own Studio with the aid of handy Easel Painting sets and discover the pleasures of painting in watercolor, oil or acrylics.

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