When Horace Walpole wrote his "Anecdotes of Painting in England," in 1762, he remarked that this country had not a single volume to show on the works of its painters, and it had very rarely given birth to a genius in that profession, Flanders and Holland having sent the great men. For this latter reason he apologised for not being able to call his work "The Lives of English Painters." At the present time, however, if an apology be needed, it must be offered for adding yet another volume to the vast multitude of books which have been written concerning English painters and paintings.
The earliest form of water colour painting was tempera. It is as old as the early Memphic dynasties of Egypt, i.e. 3,000 years B.C. The Egyptian painters on papyrus or on walls mixed their colours with water, and used mastic, wax, and various glues as a medium to fix them.