The art of making paper was introduced
to Spain by the Moors in the 12th century and then spread to Italy. One
of the first paper mills was that of the Fabriano Mill located in Italy
which has had mills there since the late 13th century. One of the first
watercolor paintings was known as buon fresco paintingdone on the
Sistine Chapel which was begun in 1508 and finished in 1514. Albrecht Durer,
(1471 to 1528) a german illustrator was painting in watercolor.
Watercolor in America was important to recording
the exploration of the land and people west of the Mississippi. George
Catlin (1796-1870) who was known as one of the earliest explorer artists
used watercolor to document his travels among the Indian tribes during
the early 1800's.
Thomas Moran painted watercolor sketches
of Yellowstone in the late 1870's that were so impressive that Congress
voted to make Yellowstone the nation's first National Park. Harper's Weekly
recorded the Civil War with on-the-scene watercolor paintings of the battlefields
and were used as illustrations for its newspapers and magazines. During
the 19th and 20th centuries, many great American painters began using watercolor
as their major medium to express their works.
Some of my favorite watercolor artists from the past are: