Lucien Hervé

Posted in Architecture and Design, Getty Research Institute, Photographs, Film, and Video, Publications

“The Photographer with the Soul of an Architect”: Lucien Hervé

Cover of Le Corbusier & Lucien Herve / Getty Publications

In 1949, self-taught photographer Lucien Hervé (1910–2007) traveled from Paris to Marseille to see Unité d’habitation, a housing complex by architect Le Corbusier. Awed by the groundbreaking modern design, Hervé took 650 photographs of it in a single day. When… More»

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      gettypubs:

      COBALT

      The histories of many colors are amazing, but cobalt may well have the most brilliant of them all. From the Ming Dynasty to Renaissance Italy, cobalt was a popular glaze for porcelain and other ceramics. Cobalt ink is invisible unless exposed to flame, which turns it a vivid green. In the 17th century, this quality made Europeans believe it was witchcraft, but decades later it was used as a neat trick on fire screens. It wasn’t until 1802 that painters added cobalt to their palette. 

      It is this little tidbit from cobalt’s history that saved master forger Han van Meergeren’s skin after WWII, when he was tried for collaborating with the Nazis. Want to find out how some art history sleuthing and smart science got him a not guilty verdict? Hint: Don’t try to forge a Vermeer with cobalt! 

      Read all about it in The Brilliant History of Color in Art!

      Images, clockwise:

      Glazed earthenware dish with a marchant ship, Italy, about 1510. 

      Glazed earthenware tile floor, Spain, about 1425-50.

      Porcelain lidded vase, China, about 1662-1772.

      All objects from the J. Paul Getty Museum. 

      12/18/14

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