Thursday, July 25, 2013

Victor Continental, Nelly Bobble, and Obsolete Pigments Part IV

Foxy by Proxy

We love this pic sent to us by Foxy by Proxy.  They will be included in the last performance of the Victor Continental shows on Friday and Saturday at Liberty Hall. 


We also liked the post on Twitter from Nelly:  Idk what u think it look like me? Aug 6 NELLY bobble head day at BUSH ...!! WOW ...!!

We want one!

Obsolete Pigments
Today, is our final installment of four parts about paints or pigments that are no longer used by artists.  We are posting this information for the nerdy folks we know who can't get enough of facts and useless knowledge. We thank the online Hyperallergic, who originally published these earlier this month in their online magazine.

1. Sepia Ink
Sepia color has far from vanished, although its original main ingredient is not so common. The sepia pigment was originally made in the 18th century from ink sacs taken from animals, particularly cuttlefish (cuttlefish bones were also sometimes used in pigments). According to Painting Materials  by R.J. Gettens and G. L. Stout, “the secretion from one cuttle-fish [was] able to turn a thousand gallons of water opaque in a few seconds.”
Smalt used in Hans Holbein the Younger’s “Sir William Butts” (1540–43) (via National Portait Gallery)

2. Smalt
The powder blue color of Cobalt Blue glass found its way into a pigment called Smalt. It was an affordable color as it was made from ground up blue glass, and the Renaissance painters frequently used it to add a shimmer to their work. You can also see it in Vermeer’s early pieces, like "DIana and her Companions, "  as well as some portraits by Hans Holbein the Younger.
3. Uranium Yellow
Uranium gives off an entrancing glow, and that characteristic made an appearance as a pigment in glass and ceramics. Although the radioactivity of Uranium Yellow wasn’t as hazardous as, say, eating White Lead paint or using Paris Green, it was enough to stop its use.
4. Gamboge
Gamboge, a yellow resin-based pigment sourced from trees in Cambodia, has a rather macabre story as it progressed from the 19th century into the 20th. As Radiolab reported in “The Perfect Yellow,” during that century’s wars, unspent bullets and mud from battlefields were getting mixed into the Gamboge collected.
Veronese’s “Allegory of love,” where the fabric pattern in the background painted with Verdigris has turned from green to brown over the years (via  Wikii Media)

5. Verdigris
The chemistry of the canvas also resulted in the once widely prevalent Verdigris, a bluish green, almost entirely disappearing. It was used in the Middle Ages through the 19th as a popular vibrant green, made with copper plates and acetic acid. This tactic made it very unstable, however, and it would get darker with age. However, as Philip Ball points out in his book Bright Earth: Art and the Invention of Color,  this may have been a result of mixing it with resin, and that organic addition later turning it black.

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