Various aspects of painting have long been discussed in the fields of art history and visual culture, but few have taken a close look at the nature of pigments within painting, or in a broader context. This online exhibit looks at the storied history of a number of different pigments, and also looks at the historical perceptions of their respective appearances and nuances. The exhibit begins by looking at pigments in prehistory (such as carbon black), and continues through the eventual discovery of mineral pigments, then the use of synthetic iron oxide pigments. After this introductory section, visitors can browse through a drop-down menu containing a list of over twenty-five pigments, such as Egyptian blue, cadmium yellow, and emerald green. For each pigment, visitors can learn about the history of its use, how the pigment was (or is) made, and its technical details (i.e., its chemical properties). [KMG]


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