About: Robert Masello

I'm a writer and lecturer living in Santa Monica. My most recent novels include Bestiary, Vigil, and Blood and Ice. The Medusa Amulet, my next, will appear in hardcover in April 2011 from Bantam/Random House.

Posts by Robert

Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations

A Tale of Two Beths

Christ and a Monk and Two Shepherds in a Franco-Flemish bestiary made about 1270. This page is on view in the exhibition Illuminated Manuscripts from Belgium and the Netherlands through February 6.

When you write novels for a living, as I do, you get used to making things up—places, plots, people. What you don’t expect is to hear back from one of those characters you’ve cooked up out of thin air. Imagine the… More»

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      ROSE

      This milky pink boomed into popularity because of a marketing ploy, a mistress, and its ambiguous origins.

      In an effort to compete with the renowned Meissen porcelain factory, the French Sèvres manufactory recruited the glamorous Madame de Pompadour (mistress to King Louis XV). Like a smart sponsorship deal, Sèvres gave her all the porcelain she requested. 

      Introduced in 1757, this rich pink exploded on the scene thanks to favoritism by Madame Pompadour herself. 

      The glaze itself had a weird history. To the Europeans it looked Chinese, and to the Chinese it was European. It was made based on a secret 17th-century glassmaker’s technique, involving mixing glass with flecks of gold.

      For more on colors and their often surprising histories, check out The Brilliant History of Color in Art.

      12/19/14

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