pigments

Posted in Art, Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute, Manuscripts and Books, Paintings

What Do Rocks Have to Do with Renaissance Art?

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Why the manuscript illuminations in Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance really rock. More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute, Research

From Green Umber to Azurite, Walnut Oil to Egyptian Sandstone, Reference Collection Helps Scientists Analyze Art Data

The Getty Conservation Institute's Art Kaplan, examining mineral samples found in the Reference Collection.

Art Kaplan is on a mission. At my request, he’s looking for a particular yellow pigment to show me—and there are hundreds of yellows to choose from, in drawers labeled Yellow Ochre, Lemon Ochre, Golden Yellow, French Yellow, and labels… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Education, Getty Conservation Institute, Getty Villa

What’s Simmering in That Beaker? Understanding Ancient Technology by Manufacturing Pigments

Elizabeth Drolet filters mixtures of dye extracted from madder roots with different inorganic materials, such as alum, lye or chalk. The different inorganic materials used produce different shades of red.
Elizabeth Drolet filters mixtures of dye extracted from madder roots with different inorganic materials, such as alum, lye or chalk. The different inorganic materials used produce different shades of red.

Powdered saffron, simmering roots, crushed leaves…no, it’s not what’s cooking in the kitchen, but what’s been cooking at the Getty Villa this quarter for the UCLA/Getty Master’s Program in the Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials. As part of a… 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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