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A container for oil colours, first used in the 17th century, it was made from a tough animal membrane such as sausage casing and was filled with paint and secured with twine. The artist would puncture the bladder with an ivory tack when he needed paint, and then reseal it with the tack. Colours kept in this way only stayed fresh for a few months. The bladder was in wide use by the late 18th century but was replaced by the collapsible metal tube around 1840.

Subjects: Art.

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