CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Wallraf-Richartz-Museum Launches Website on Painting Techniques

The Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne has launched a new website,, that presents an accessible yet comprehensive overview of painting techniques from the past 700 years.

In eight chapters, experts from the Wallraf’s Department of Art Technology and Conservation explain the creation of important paintings from the collection. Each step of a painter’s work, from choosing the right support to applying varnish, is carefully described and cleverly illustrated through innovative storytelling.

A detail of Jan Lievens’ painting The Pen Cutter (ca. 1627) is used to illustrate the technique of using a quill pen to scratch fine curved lines into the wet paint to draw the individual hairs of a beard. The painting is on loan to the museum from a private collection.

While the website is primarily aimed at the general public, it may also appeal to art historians who have a clear understanding of painting techniques, thanks to its approachable and playful interpretation of complex processes.

The website is based on the exhibition Revealed! Painting Techniques from Martini to Monet, which was on view at the Wallraf in winter 2021/22. The show shed light on the history of European painting, focussing on materials, techniques and creation processes.