(1550), Vasari claimed that it was the van Eyck brothers who invented oil painting, around 1420.
Unfortunately Vasari’s account, translated into English, remains popular and influential today.
BAMIYAN, Afghanistan—Wedged between the Hindu Kush and Koh-i-Baba mountain ranges in the central highlands of Afghanistan, Bamiyan is a sleepy, unimposing town.
This detailed, dramatic record of life in Kakadu stretches back more than 50,000 years – from the first evidence of human occupation to the arrival of Europeans.
Various images created on rocks, are dating back to the period of 150 000 years ago.
We are often led to believe that oil paints were invented in Northern Europe, shortly before the first famous painters of the Northern Renaissance used them to such great effect.
Not only is that untrue, but a more accurate account has been in the public domain for over 200 years.
But it has failed to revive the heyday of tourism after decades of war, including the Taliban's 1996-2001 reign when they destroyed two massive Buddha statues carved into sandstone cliffs, labelling them an affront to Islam - an act globally condemned as 'cultural terrorism'.
Reliable statistics are hard to come by but officials admit that the number of foreign tourists has fallen off a cliff in recent post-Taliban years as pessimism abounds about the state of Afghanistan, trapped in a quagmire of escalating violence.
The park holds one of the highest concentrated areas of rock art in the world.
As many as 5,000 Aboriginal sites have been found here, including rock art, shelters, stone tools, grindstones and ceremonial ochre.
Trudging halfway up a jagged goat trail, guide Mohammad Ibrahim extolled the panoramic view: a vast, ancient landscape of russet-hued cliffs that is on the frontline of Afghan efforts to jump-start warzone tourism.
Bamiyan - famous for empty hillside niches that once sheltered giant Buddha statues that were blown up by the Taliban - is a rare oasis of tranquility that has largely been spared the wrenching conflict that afflicts the rest of Afghanistan.
But in an effort to lure tourists, especially from the sub-continent, Bamiyan was last month inaugurated as the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) cultural capital for 2015 - a move welcomed by local hoteliers and shopkeepers, though few are optimistic.'If you are an Afghan travelling by road, wear a ragged tunic, abandon all government ID and say your prayer,' quipped Umaidullah Azad, a tourist in Band-e Amir, widely known as 'Afghanistan's Grand Canyon' for its azure lakes and rolling limestone cliffs.'If the Taliban flag you down, you have a good chance of surviving if you look like a country bumpkin.