Trivium Art History
Mediums

Chalk

A Paleolithic material still in use

Chalk is a humble material with a remarkable past. Though chalk today is thought of as a stubby tool for teachers to scratch out equations on a blackboard, chalk began as a type of limestone, created from the crushed shells of billions of phytoplankton called Coccoliths, whose corpses built up over millions of years into stone strata that now underlays much of Europe. Chalk has been used as a mark-making tool for nearly as long as there have been homosapiens, with early chalkwork appearing in Paleolithic cave drawings. And chalk has had legs, with Renaissance and Rococo artists like Peter Paul Rubens and François Boucher turning to chalk as a tool for sketching before creating a final painting, and in the 20th century avant-garde painters like Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso used chalk's speed and gestural fluidity to bring their drawings to life.

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A map of the Arno valley and surrounding areas

A map of the Arno valley and surrounding areas

Leonardo da Vinci1503-1504
A bird's-eye map of western Tuscany

A bird's-eye map of western Tuscany

Leonardo da Vinci1503-1504
Head of an African

Head of an African

Albrecht Dürer1508
The muscles of the shoulder

The muscles of the shoulder

Leonardo da Vinci1510-1511
The bones of the foot, and the shoulder

The bones of the foot, and the shoulder

Leonardo da Vinci1510-1511
The veins and muscles of the arm

The veins and muscles of the arm

Leonardo da Vinci1510-1511
The foetus in the womb

The foetus in the womb

Leonardo da Vinci1511
Notes on reproduction

Notes on reproduction

Leonardo da Vinci1511
The superficial anatomy of the shoulder and neck

The superficial anatomy of the shoulder and neck

Leonardo da Vinci1510-1511
A map of the Pontine marshes

A map of the Pontine marshes

Leonardo da Vinci1515
A Young Woman of Frascati

A Young Woman of Frascati

Jacques-Louis David1775
Self Portrait

Self Portrait

Dante Gabriel Rossetti1847
View of Lausanne II

View of Lausanne II

Matthijs Maris1861-1862
Guinevere and Iseult: Cartoon for Stained Glass

Guinevere and Iseult: Cartoon for Stained Glass

William Morris1862
Cavalry Soldier on Horseback

Cavalry Soldier on Horseback

Winslow Homer1863
Reverie

Reverie

Dante Gabriel Rossetti1868
Spring (Women and Men at Well)

Spring (Women and Men at Well)

Winslow Homer1875
The Day Dream (Study)

The Day Dream (Study)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti1878
Figures in the Woods

Figures in the Woods

Matthijs Maris1880
Sorrow

Sorrow

Vincent Van Gogh1882
Orchard with Arles in the Background

Orchard with Arles in the Background

Vincent Van Gogh1888
Sun over Walled Wheat Field

Sun over Walled Wheat Field

Vincent Van Gogh1890
The Shepherdess (Monumental Conception of Humanity)

The Shepherdess (Monumental Conception of Humanity)

Matthijs Maris1887-1892
Worship

Worship

Ferdinand Hodler1893
Girl looking up

Girl looking up

Adolf Hirémy-Hirschl1900
Woman looking away

Woman looking away

Adolf Hirémy-Hirschl1900
The King's Children

The King's Children

Matthijs Maris1899-1900
Studies of Self Portrait

Studies of Self Portrait

Ferdinand Hodler1911
Red Balloon

Red Balloon

Paul Klee1922

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