Panel Painting


Prototypes of modern panel paintings were icons. The Christ Pantocrator of St. Catherine’s Monastery at Sinai dated from the 6th century is one of the oldest images of Christ. It was created by using wax paints on a wooden panel covered with a cloth.

The new chapter in the panel painting history was opened by the representative of the Protorenaissance Giotto di Bondone. Plenty of his works were made in Byzantine technique, which was used by all the Italian artists of the 13-14th centuries: The process of creating an icon in Byzantine technique was the following: firstly, a wooden panel was coated with animal glue and then covered with linen, secondly, a layer of gesso was applied over the linen, and finally linen was covered with gilding. Then, before using tempera to paint an icon, painters usually scratched an outline of figures.

Traditional panel paintings are considered to be painted with oil paints or tempera on canvas. But nowadays artists prefer using various surfaces and materials:

  • Painting surface can be: cloth, paper, canvas, glass, stone etc.
  • Materials can also vary: watercolors, gouache, tempera, oil, pastels, ink etc.

In our catalogue you can find panel paintings done by such contemporary Russian artists as:

Their and many other artists’ works you can not only check out in our online gallery, but also buy them at a quite attractive price.

Panel painting has the widest range of genres and styles.

Genres of Panel Painting

The greatest influence on the developing of panel painting had portraits and paintings on mythological, historical and, in particular, religious themes. The most remarkable genres of panel painting nowadays are portrait, still-life and landscape.


A portrait represents a person of a group of persons. Portraitist’s the most important and, probably, the most difficult task is not only to reproduce physical characteristics of a main character but also to his or her inner essence. A portrait can depict either a specific living person or a person lived earlier. The most famous portraitists are Rafael, Velázquez, Rembrandt and such Russian artists as I. Repin, A. Tropinin, I. Kramskoy and many others.


A still life painting usually depicts mostly inanimate subject matter: vegetables, fruit, flowers, utensils etc. True artistic still-lifes not only blindly represent shapes of objects but also reflect an artist’s perceptions, mood and thoughts. For instance, K. Petrov-Vodkin at his best known picture “Still-life with a Herring” didn’t just depict a fish and a few slices of bread lying on a red cloth. He depicted distinguishing features the time when the painting was created. The frugal dinner served on the table highlights the poverty of the hosts, and, at the same time, puts an emphasis on its importance for the family.


In earlier times landscapes served only to fill the black space at a painting, and now it has become an independent art genre. Landscapes depict nature in its different guises: wilderness, nature transferred by a human or interacting with him. There are a few types of landscapes: cityscape, village landscape, winter or summer landscape etc.

Genre Painting

Genre painting is divided into historical, mythological, religious and battle paintings. Genre-artists do their best to represent the atmosphere of the event, characters’ feelings and emotions. A typical genre painting is “The Last Day of Pompeii” by K. Bryullov. The artist depicted the tragic events that had taken place in Pompeii in 79 CE, when the whole town had been ruined because of the volcanic eruption.