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Flesh was the reason why oil painting was invented. Never before in history had it taken such a place in painting. For the Egyptians, it was something that didn’t last long enough; for the Greeks, it — and everything else — took on the texture of painted marble and plaster walls. But for the Renaissance artist, flesh was the stuff people were made of. It was because of man, and not in spite of him, that painting was considered an art.
Willem de Kooning, "The Renaissance and Order", New York, Autumn 1949
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