A rigid surface of metal, card or wood used to paint on. A wide range of prepared woods were used in the past, oak being the most traditional in much of Northern Europe. Panels were the most popular supports for easel-painting in Britain until canvas took over in the seventeenth century. Today a wide range of economical wood or composition boards are used as painting supports, either painted on direct or, more usually, primed with gesso, an egg emulsion or with an oil undercoat.
King Edward IV
by Unknown English artist
Queen Mary I
by Master John
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey
after William Scrots
circa 1570-1580s, based on a work of 1546
Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester
by Unknown Anglo-Netherlandish artist
King James I of England and VI of Scotland
by Unknown artist
Unknown woman, formerly known as Florence Nightingale
by Augustus Leopold Egg
by George Jones, and Henry Collen
by James Jacques Tissot
by Isaac Rosenberg
Listen to a series of podcasts exploring the lives of pioneering women, past and present.
William Eggleston was closely associated with the alternative music scene in Memphis. Revisit our 2016 exhibition and listen to a special playlist.
Links to audio and transcripts of interviews with artists, sitters and historic recordings.