Discover The History of Winsor & Newton Oil Colour

by Cass Art

At Cass Art, we pledge to stock the world's best art materials from the leading brands. Winsor & Newton is one of those brands, known for their innovative art materials as well as their long-lasting heritage of making quality paint for several generations of artists.

Founded in 1832 by Henry Newton and William Winsor, they were the first to publish composition and permanence information about their colours. Old English Master J.M.W. Turner painted with their paints - in fact, he pointedly told William Winsor that “Your business Winsor is to make colour. Mine is to use them" when Winsor expressed his concerns that Turner's colours would not last.

In 1841, Queen Victoria granted Winsor & Newton the first Royal Warrant, and in 1866 she ordered that Winsor & Newton should produce the very finest kolinsky sable water colour brushes in her favourite size: the No.7.

In 1976, and for the first time ever, Winsor & Newton released a fast drying oil colour range that allowed artists to complete oil paintings in a fraction of the time required with conventional oils. This was the artist's alkyd oil colour.

In 1992 the Artists' Winsor & Newton Oilbar was introduced, oil paint in a never-before-seen stick form (redeveloped in 2011 to include more colours) and in 1998 they released Artistan Water Mixable Oil Colour.

Development and innovation of art materials is still at the heart of the company with new colours and art supplies continually being produced.

The Artists' Oil Colour range offers 120 possible colours, the largest selection of colours of the Winsor & Newton oil ranges. They aim for the highest quality level of pigment which leads to one of their most famous sayings “artists’ quality goes further.” They strike the ideal balance between the finest pigments and excellent handling and mixing qualities. The buttery consistency of Artists’ Oil Colour brings out the best in a broad range of styles, whether you're working with a brush or palette knife, and that its tinting strength is outstanding both alone and combined with white or other colours in the range. Pure, stable and consistent, they carry the highest degree of lightfastness and permanence.

The Winton collection, alternatively, is made from more moderately priced pigments and are therefore ideal for students, beginners or artists using high quantities of oil paint. They are formulated to produce excellent results across the colour spectrum, with high permanence and lightfastness and good covering power and tinting strength. Single pigments are used except where to do so would be less affordable; the result is a range with a pigment load higher than many artists’ ranges, exceptional for general use and ideal for working in large volume at the highest level.

Winsor & Newton

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Image credits: all images from Winsor & Newton Museum

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