CIHA

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Field Report from the Art History Olympics, the 33rd CIHA Congress

Program book and Anne Helmreich's attendee badge from the 2012 CIHA conference

Art history, like most other professions, relies on acronyms. CIHA refers to the International Committee for the History of Art, which is one of the oldest organizations in the profession, founded in 1930. I recently attended CIHA’s 33rd Congress in… 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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