Prehistoric Times:

  • Cave paintings were created using natural pigments like charcoal and ochre (40,000 BCE – 10,000 BCE).

Ancient Times:

  • Egyptians used materials such as stone, copper, gold, lapis lazuli, and pigments made from plants and minerals for their paintings and sculptures (c. 3100 BCE – 30 BCE).
  • Greeks used clay, bronze, and marble for their sculptures and fresco techniques for their paintings (c. 800 BCE – 146 BCE).
  • Romans used similar materials as the Greeks, but also developed new techniques for mosaic making (c. 753 BCE – 476 CE).

Middle Ages:

  • Medieval artists used pigments made from natural sources like plants, insects, and minerals, and materials such as wood, stone, and stained glass for their artwork (c. 500 CE – 1500 CE).


  • Renaissance artists used a variety of materials including oil paint, canvas, wood, and marble (c. 1300 CE – 1600 CE).


  • Baroque artists used a wider range of materials such as pastels, chalk, and silverpoint, and developed techniques such as chiaroscuro and tenebrism (c. 1600 CE – 1750 CE).

19th Century:

  • The Industrial Revolution brought new materials such as synthetic dyes and oil paint tubes, which made painting easier and more accessible to artists (c. 1800 CE – 1900 CE).

20th Century:

  • Modern artists experimented with new materials such as acrylic paint, spray paint, and found objects, and developed new techniques such as collage and performance art (c. 1900 CE – present).

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