“Did Michelangelo invent paint-by-numbers?” That’s not a question you hear every day! However, it is an interesting one. Was this mastermind behind the phenomenon that we now know as ‘paint-by-numbers’? The answer is “sort of.”
What Is Paint-by-Numbers?
According to Wikipedia, “Paint by number (or painting by numbers) describes kits having a board on which light blue or gray lines indicate areas to paint, each having a number and a corresponding numbered paint to use.” Paint-by-numbers kits were created in 1950 by Dan Robbins and Max S. Klein, both employees of the Palmer Paint Co. These kits became wildly popular, and to this day have maintained their popularity.
Did Michelangelo Invent Paint-by-Numbers?
While no one questions whether or not Robbins and Klein invented paint-by-numbers, some wonder where these men found their inspiration. The inspiration for paint-by-numbers may have been derived from the artist Michelangelo.
Many people are unaware that Michelangelo should perhaps be credited with inspiring the invention of paint-by-numbers. The article Michelangelo pioneered paint by number, summarizing this YouTube video, stated, “The artist Michelangelo is credited with inventing what was centuries later marketed as paint by number. He created the system so students could help him finish up commissioned jobs when he became too busy.”
Another interesting source, The History of Paint-by-Numbers, said that Leonardo da Vinci was responsible for the creation of paint-by-numbers: “When Dan Robbins, the 13th employee of Detroit-based Palmer Paint Co., read that da Vinci taught his apprentices the basics of painting by using numbered patterns on a canvas, he suspected the idea might have wider appeal. So he worked to put out a new product that would delight aspiring artists of all ages.”
After reading both articles, which artist do you think inspired paint-by-numbers?
Paint-by-Numbers on Your Windows PC or Mobile Device
Michelangelo may not have painted by numbers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t. In fact, you can use our “Michelangelo” paint-by-numbers pattern to re-create incredible artwork on your Windows PC via a computer program called SegPlay PC.
SegPlay PC uses the newest technologies to breathe new life into paint-by-numbers. Once you paint-by-numbers on your Windows PC using SegPlay PC, you can print out your masterpiece and display it. If you love mobile games, SegPlay Mobile gives you the option to paint-by-numbers on your mobile device.
Who do you think is responsible for inspiring the invention of paint-by-numbers? Leave us a comment in the space below.
Read Segmation blog posts about paint-by-numbers:
Be an Artist in 2 minutes with Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)