The old masters

Also found in: Acronyms, Wikipedia.
distinguished painters who preceded modern painters; especially, the celebrated painters of the 16th and 17th centuries.

See also: Master

References in classic literature ?
A year passed, and when Philip came to the school the old masters were all in their places; but a good many changes had taken place notwithstanding their stubborn resistance, none the less formidable because it was concealed under an apparent desire to fall in with the new head's ideas.
There is much to be learned from the minor novelists and poets of the past about people's ways of thinking and feeling, but not much that the masters do not give you in better quality and fuller measure; and I should say, Read the old masters and let their schools go, rather than neglect any possible master of your own time.
We visited the Louvre, at a time when we had no silk purchases in view, and looked at its miles of paintings by the old masters.
He had not only a true appreciation of the old masters, but sympathy with the moderns.
He is haunted by the traditional voices of the old masters of his craft, and lastly, more than all, by the dead women and men of his race, the ancestors that count in the making of his composite soul and have their silent say in every action, thought, and impulse of his life.
Doubtless this seems to you a very commonplace 'ghost story'--one constructed on the regular lines laid down by the old masters of the art.
It is a painting of the Italian school--by the celebrated Guydo, the greatest painter in the world, the chief of the Old Masters, as they are called-- I take it, because they were up to a thing or two beyond most of us-- in possession of secrets now lost to the bulk of mankind.
She said that this composer had made a complete revolution in music and was burying the old masters one by one.
The distant relative possessed two pictures -- Gems by the Old Masters -- which he was willing to dispose of, and which he had intrusted for that purpose to Mr.
Give them a picture with a good large ruin, fancy trees, prancing nymphs, and a watery sky; dirty it down dexterously to the right pitch; put it in an old frame; call it a Claude; and the sphere of the Old Master is enlarged, the collector is delighted, the picture-dealer is enriched, and the neglected modern artist claps a joyful hand on a well-filled pocket.
But the old woman's threats had already caused De Vac a feeling of uneasiness, which would have been reflected to an exaggerated degree in the old woman had she known the determination her words had caused in the mind of the old master of fence.
She was an angel straight out of Heaven," breathed the man, fervently; "but the old master and missus knew her as their oldest daughter.