oil sketch

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A small oil painting made as a preliminary or intermediate study for a finished picture of larger size. Such sketches originated in Italy in the 16th century, the earliest ones known being by Polidoro da Caravaggio, for example Road to Calvary (c.1534, NG, London), which is a study for an altarpiece now in the Museo di Capodimonte, Naples. Rubens took up the practice when he was in Italy and became probably the most prolific of all exponents of this kind of work. A rapid, spontaneous oil sketch is sometimes called a bozzetto; a more finished oil sketch, particularly one intended to be shown to a patron, is often called a modello.

Subjects: Art.

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