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History of Easels and Portable Banner Stands

If you need to display small posters or graphics but don’t have access to a wall or anywhere else to hang them, Mega Format’s foldable easel is the perfect solution. This tripod easel is smaller and more lightweight than a retractable banner stand or large format banners, and because it easily folds up, it’s portable as well.

Though this foldable version improves on the original, the easel itself has been around for centuries, largely unchanged from its basic, principal design. Among the first references to the modern easel is in the 1st century A.D. book “Elder Pliny’s Chapters on the History of Art,” in which a large panel is described as resting on a floor easel, implying  that by this time, the use of easels had already become commonplace.

An excavation of a decorated sarcophagus from the Bosporan Kingdom of roughly the same time period revealed another depiction of an easel, this time visual. One panel of this sarcophagus shows an artist, paintbrush in hand, working near a wooden painting easel.

By the Middle Ages, easels were becoming the standard for many artists. In the 12th century, monks used tabletop easels when they illuminated manuscripts. And in the Renaissance, easels were frequently displayed in many artists’ self portraits, including  Dürer’s “Saint Jerome in his Study,” Antonis Mor’s “Self-Portrait” and Annibale Caracci’s “Self Portrait on an Easel,” all from the 16th century.

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Posted on: Monday, December 10th, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Posted in: Easels

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