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In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the term was often understood as having a starting date of perhaps 1450 or 1470; paintings made before that were "primitives", but this distinction is no longer made. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the term as "A pre-eminent artist of the period before the modern; esp. a pre-eminent western European painter of the 13th to 18th centuries." The first quotation given is from 1696, in the diary of John Evelyn : "My L: Pembroke..shewed me divers rare Pictures of very many of the old & best Masters, especially that of M: Angelo..,& a large booke of the best drawings of the old Masters." [3] The term is also used to refer to a painting or sculpture made by an Old Master, a usage datable to 1824. [3] There are comparable terms in Dutch, French and German; the Dutch may have been the first to make use of such a term, in the 18th century, when oude meester mostly meant painters of the Dutch Golden Age of the previous century. Les Maitres d'autrefois of 1876 by Eugene Fromentin may have helped to popularize the concept, although "vieux maitres" is also used in French. The famous collection in Dresden at the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister is one of the few museums to include the term in its actual name, although many more use it in the title of departments or sections. The collection in the Dresden museum essentially stops at the Baroque period.

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Dutch Masters The Expectation Youre Nearby MeDutch Masters The Expectation Youre Nearby MeDutch Masters The Expectation Youre Nearby MeDutch Masters The Expectation Youre Nearby Me