Definition of old master in English:

old master

noun

  • 1A great artist of former times, especially of the 13th–17th century in Europe.

    ‘the Dutch old masters’
    • ‘Mr. Rivers then went to Europe, living for a few months in Paris, where he studied old masters, Courbet and Manet.’
    • ‘Give me the old masters any day, artists whose work touched the hearts and minds of generations.’
    • ‘Hokusai and Hiroshige were the great old masters of kacho-e in the first half of the nineteenth century.’
    • ‘We look to the past in art rooms across the country: Traditionally, students study the art of old masters - and modern artists - and then try their hand at re-creating the works.’
    • ‘At the end, these paintings-within-paintings float in mute isolation, like the ancestral ghosts of industry's first captains, or of art's old masters.’
    • ‘Think of Degas haunting the Louvre or Arshile Gorky sending himself to school at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, submitting to the old masters until he understood the great tradition from the inside out.’
    • ‘As a student he had discovered Picasso and Cubism, got interested in Salvador Dali and Surrealism, and studied old masters like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.’
    • ‘For him, European artists - especially old masters - were synonymous with culture, education, and prestige.’
    • ‘Throughout his two-decade-plus career, Israeli-born painter Yigal Ozeri has engaged in a productive dialogue with the work of the old masters, particularly Velazquez.’
    • ‘Works created before 1923 are considered to be in the public domain (a primary reason that so many works by Monet, Degas and other old masters are often transferred to canvas).’
    • ‘Thus, the museum began to acquire European sculpture and old master drawings and purchased an important collection of medieval and renaissance illuminated manuscripts.’
    • ‘If optical devices really had a large impact on the creation of premodern paintings, why haven't the advanced technical tools now available enabled today's artists to paint like the old masters at will?’
    • ‘Most such institutions publish prints of contemporary Western artists or European old masters.’
    • ‘A trip to Europe then allegedly resulted in an outpouring of homages to the old masters and to European architecture.’
    • ‘We sell the works of young artists and old masters alike,’ says Mullholland.’
    • ‘Turning away from the Plinian anecdotes typically allegorized by academic culture, artists discovered in the lives of the old masters historical ancestors that seemed truly their own.’
    • ‘Frustrated with the studio system Manet toured the great artistic capitals of Europe studying the old masters and in particular revered the Spanish painter ‘Velazques’.’
    • ‘Although he prepared and executed his works painstakingly like the old masters, he wanted his works of art look like machine made.’
    • ‘Realism and illusion are freely intertwined; portraits of his friends mingle with quotations from the old masters, most particularly Rembrandt, who had been the subject of a major exhibition at the Royal Academy earlier that year.’
    • ‘Joining the Fauves and a later roster of nonobjective painters, Hogan resolves the question in a manner the old masters could not have conceived: turning line itself into color, or making color manifest as line.’
    creator, originator, designer, producer, fine artist
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A painting by a great artist of former times.
      ‘a large collection of old masters’
      • ‘With a major in advertising and a minor in art, McCabe recreates old masters, product logos, employee portraits, and sometimes just a pretty border to hold the daily specials.’
      • ‘However when looking at some of the old masters, these works were often produced by skillful and highly specialized carvers.’
      • ‘People often think that collecting art means old masters, or at least, art that is old.’
      • ‘References are made to the importance of looking at other art (‘everything from cave paintings to the old masters to a range of contemporary painting’).’
      • ‘Goudstikker was Amsterdam's leading prewar collector and dealer in Dutch and Italian old masters before being killed in an accident while fleeing to a new life in the United States.’
      • ‘The new exhibition of old masters marks the start of festival season in the Scottish capital, but also the culmination of a £30m refurbishment which has transformed the gallery buildings into a world-class visual arts complex.’
      • ‘These have more than quadrupled the gallery space, creating an appropriate setting for this summer's Cézanne centenary exhibition as well as the permanent collection of old masters and archaeology.’
      • ‘Visitors can see the royal palace, the 13 th century Ridderzaal and the Mauritshuis with its unique collection of Dutch, Flemish and German old masters.’
      • ‘Most other weeks, however, Smee drifts through a rarified world of old masters and musty museum paintings, wrestling with the big questions of aesthetic appreciation and marvelous revelations courtesy of early Modernists.’
      • ‘In addition to collecting the inevitable old masters, Count Alexander Stroganov wanted to raise the standards of Russian art by instructing his serfs.’
      • ‘The primary responsibility of the company's European branches was to locate and acquire old masters for resale in New York.’
      • ‘We wandered through the magnificent state bedrooms, each hung with fabulous paintings and old masters.’
      • ‘American collectors and museums remained the most prominent buyers of Dutch old masters during the 20th century.’
      • ‘And later in Rome he faked some old masters in order to humiliate local painters who resented his intrusion into their domain.’
      • ‘Here one finds the museum's permanent collection of old masters, including noteworthy Renaissance and Baroque paintings from the Italian, German and Netherlandish schools.’

Pronunciation:

old master

//