The Pitsa Panels: Early Greek painting These four painted panels are a group of painted wooden tablets found near Pitsa, Corinthia in the 1930s. They can be dated to about 540-530 BC. They were probably preserved due to the unusually dry conditions inside the cave in which they were found. The Pitsa panels are thin wooden boards covered with stucco (plaster) to form a surface on which to paint. Since the plaster was allowed to dry before paints were applied these are not frescos, but actual paintings. The artists used pigments made from naturally occurring minerals and most likely a binder made egg yolk (egg tempera) to form the paint. Only eight colors (black, white, blue, red, green, yellow, purple and brown) are used; they are bright with no shading or gradation. These panel paintings are very rare. Most ancient paintings that survived from this early a time are either frescoes (pigment applied to wet plaster) or vase paintings (painted in glaze on pottery and fired). According to ancient Greek authors panels such as this were the most respected form of Greek
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Panel painting, Oil painting, Art in ancient Greece, Pitsa panels, Pitsa