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A wooden rod about 1 m (3 ft) long with a padded knob at one end, used by painters to support and steady the brush hand, particularly when working on detailed passages. Maulsticks are first recorded in the 16th century, their introduction coinciding roughly with the adoption of oil on canvas as the standard technique for producing easel paintings (as oils are slower drying than tempera there was more risk of smudging wet paint). From the mid-16th century they are occasionally seen in artists' self-portraits, and from the 17th century they often appear.

Subjects: Art.

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