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Canvas has become the most common support medium for oil painting, replacing wooden panels. It was used from the 14th century in Italy, but only rarely. One of the earliest surviving oils on canvas is a French Madonna with angels from around 1410 in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin. Its use in Saint George and the Dragon by Paolo Uccello in about 1470, and Sandro Botticelli's Birth of Venus in the 1480s was still unusual for the period. Large paintings for country houses were apparently more likely to be on canvas, and are perhaps less likely to have survived. It was a good deal cheaper than a panel painting, and may sometime indicate a painting regarded as less important. In the Uccello, the armour does not use silver leaf, as other of his paintings do (and the colour therefore remains undegraded). Another common category of paintings on lighter cloth such as linen was in distemper or glue, often used for banners to be carried in procession. This is a less durable medium, and surviving examples such as Dirk Bouts' Entombment, in distemper on linen (1450s, National Gallery) are rare, and often rather faded in appearance.

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✾ Grell Sutcliff And Sebastian ✾ ✾ Griffin Moore ✾