26 April 2008

Afghan oil paintings world's oldest

Artists in Afghanistan were painting using oils as far back as the 7th century, research shows, hundreds of years before oil paint was used in Europe.
The world's first oil paintings were in caves near two destroyed giant statues of Buddha at Bamiyan.
Samples from paintings, dating from the 7th century, were taken from caves behind two statues of Buddha that were blown up as un-Islamic by Afghanistan's hardline Taliban in 2001.
The paintings in 12 of the 50 caves were created using oil paints, possibly from walnut or poppy, according to scientists at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in France.[...]
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