Why were oil paintings small in the 15th century for example the 'Mona Lisa'?
It is not true that oil paintings were paerticularly small in
the 15th century. our example, the 'Mona Lisa' is early 16th
century, by the way. A few examples: 'Sacra conversatione' by
Domenico Veneziano, painted 1445, (Florence) is 209x216 cm.
'Madonna Pazzi' by Andrea del Castagno, 1440s, (Florence) is
290x212 cm 'Annunciation, by Filippo Lippi, 1440 (Florence) is
175x183 cm. I could go on. The fact is that there have been larger
and smaller paintings in every century.