Friday, March 19, 2010

36 Shades of Prussian Blue

For all of us who enjoy the history and use of materials, the new issue of
Triple Canopy has something just for us. "Thirty-six Shades of Prussian Blue" by Joshua Cohen, collects historical and scholarly observations on the origins, production and uses of Prussian Blue: the world's first artificial color.


Artists in the West had no reliable blue until the early eighteenth century. Ultramarine, extracted from the blue stone called lapis lazuli, was said to have once been more expensive than gold, and Renaissance artists had to negotiate with their patrons for individual drops of blue upon receiving their commissions (ultramarine means, literally, "over the sea," because most lapis was imported from Afghanistan).

Full text here.

via: Triple Canopy/CORE77

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