5 Palette is that of the Earth - Paints are "stones + water”- Yellows, oranges, reds are iron "earths”Fe2O3 (hematite), FeO(OH)·nH2O (limonite)- Greens from clays made of aluminum/silicon /oxygenAl-Si-O- Brown : manganese oxide, Black (charcoal) and White (chalk or bones)MnO2CCaO and CaCO3
6 Greek Four Color Painting (theory attributed to Pliny) A very confusing topic because so little Greek painting survivesConservative color ideas authored by Aristotle, Plato, and others but also by Romans Pliny & Plutarch writing about classical Greek painting."the noble and restrained palette is the proper choice for all sober-minded painters”Gaius Plinius Secundus, better known as Pliny the Elder, was an author, naturalist, and natural philosopher as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire. Spending most of his spare time studying, writing or investigating natural phenomena in the field, he wrote an encyclopedic work, Naturalis Historia.
7 Greek Four Color Painting white – black – yellow – redwhite & black correspond to extremes of light and darkyellow & red correspond to intermediate huesthe very colors predominating in cave paintingReally? Only 4 colors?
8 c. 540 BC, National Archaeological Museum c. 540 BC, National Archaeological Museum. One of four paintings on a piece of wood that survived, found in the village Pitsa (inside a cave ?) (Corinth) in the region around Sikyon.
9 Greek Four Color Painting white – black – yellow – redwhite & black correspond to extremes of light and darkyellow & red correspond to intermediate huesthe very colors predominating in cave paintingFirst a matter of PhilosophyGreek thought: where the symmetry of ideas was importantFour elements (air, fire, water, earth) andFour natures (qualities) (dry, humid (moist) , cold, hot)So, naturally, we should have four colors (white, black, yellow, red)They had some strange ideas…Aristotle: all colors are mixtures of lightness and darkness (white and black?)Demokritos: pale green (chloron) can be made from red + whitePlato: leek green (prasinon) can be made from “flame” (purron) and black
10 Results Reflects Greek Attitudes Greek preference for theorizing, for abstract thought, for doctrinea distaste for experimentation, for manual skill and crafta aversion to mixing, an idea in classical thought that mixed pigments were impure and inferior to pure pigments made from natural sources"Mixing produces conflict" PlutarchResults Reflect Reality of Limitations of Pigment Materialsbecause of the chemical properties of the ancient pigments,—how they interacted with light (their spectral properties) —mixing them led to neutral, dull hues: mud.Did the Romans’ preoccupation with Greek color ideas affect their palettes?
11 Decidedly not, judging by the frescoes uncovered at Pompeii. Did the Romans’ preoccupation with Greek color ideas affect their palettes?Decidedly not, judging by the frescoesuncovered at Pompeii.There are 29 pigments identified in all of the Pompeii paintings.
19 Boat Carrying Captives from Nubia, Tomb of Huy (facsimile), Reignreign of Akhenaten–Tutankhamun, Egypt (Thebes)1349–1327 B.C.
20 Portrait of the Boy Eutyches, Egypt, Roman Period, 100 AD, Encaustic (wax, etc.) on woodRoman Egypt was an extremely diverse civilization. The population consisted of Roman citizens and citizens of Greek cities such as Alexandria (both of these groups made up of peoples of many different ethnicities) and native Egyptians.Clearly, the Egyptians,in contrast to the Greeks,placed high value of craft and skill.They contributed much to the developmentof pigments and the art of coloration.
21 The Greek Four Color Problem: is it real ? That they couldn’t perceive or discriminate the range of colors that we can?or is it just a problem of language, of naming?they certainly had access to other pigments (e.g., Egyptian blue frit)speculation is that Greek sensitivity was to effect of color, not so much to huemaybe blue was close to black, as yellow is similar to whitesinople used to refer to both green and to red(is actually a red earth from Sinople near the Black Sea)color terminology is NOT universal; some cultures have only 4 color terms“Colors are the product of language under the influence of culture.” John Lyonsor is it a problem of perceptual psychology?no different than my yellow ≠ your yellowColor is a hot topic for linguistic studyLinguistic anthropologists Berlin and Kay, propose evolution of color terms that follow:”Color vocabulary unfolds in strict sequence" black/white, then red, then yellow , then green, blue, then the secondary (more random) purple, orange, brown, pink….”Hmmmm, I think I’ll paint that idea…
22 Interface (Sharon Burgmayer, 2002) (at the interface of feeling and thinking, inspired by Mark Lord)
23 GREEK COLOR THEORY AND THE FOUR ELEMENTS A Cosmological Interpretation J. L. BensonAmherst, Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries2000Alkmaion: how does the eye see? It sees through the water that surrounds itthe ray which transmits the color of an object to the eye is a kind of fire.In any case Demokritos conceived of colors as so many quantities of energy (light), ranging from a pure form of it to a total lack of it (black). Such reasoning comes from a quite different sphere from the idea of colors laid on an artist's palette: colors are not something laid on objects but energy equations of the objects themselves. In fact, Demokritos would deny the existence of artists' colors as such. To complicate matters for us, Anaxagoras - without being an atomist - had the same opinion about the nature of color.the two characteristics of Greek color sensibility appear:* Color is rays of light or fire.* Color reflects the state of the object to which it belongs.
24 Greek Four color theory Although the theory of the four elements is well known, the concept of a theory of four colors is virtually unknown, even among many scholars in the ancient field. What is that concept? It refers first of all to a seemingly insoluble problem in the history of Greek painting, arising from references in Pliny the Elder and Cicero, to the use of quattuor colores: black, white, yellow, and red in certain Greek paintingsThe ancient tradition in regard to a connection between the Four Elements theory and the Four Colors theory - for so it must be called - is not only meager and sketchy but, on the face of it, enigmatic. Yet the parallel positioning of the two concepts, e.g., in Empedokles, Demokritos and Plato, is so noticeable that one cannot really doubt whether the Greeks regarded them as being correlative, but only whether they connected each of the four elements to a particular one of the four colors.
26 Polish kermes lives in the roots of Scleranthus perennis L Polish kermes lives in the roots of Scleranthus perennis L. Polish kermes are found from eastern Germany to the Ukraine . This shield louse, or scale insect, is a parasite on the roots of Scleranthus perennis. The female insects are collected in June, killed in a vinegar solution, dried, and marketed in this form as the raw material for the dyestuff. From a single plant, 40 to 50 insects can be collected. After they are taken from the roots of the host plant, it is replanted.
27 The Cochineal bug is found in desert locations in Arizona, New Mexico, and California to Montana, Colorado, Texas, Florida and North Carolina. They feed on the juices of the cacti plant, especially the prickly pear cacti.
28 Visualizing the atomic and molecular level elements compounds homogeneous heterogeneous copper, Cu vermilion, red lead blue frit blue frit + ochreSulfur, S8
29 Cinnabar (natural mineral) Vermilion (synthetic) HgS elements compounds homogeneous heterogeneous copper vermilion blue frit blue frit + ochreCinnabar (natural mineral)Vermilion (synthetic)HgSRed LeadPb3O4, or 2PbO·PbO2
30 Iron oxide Hematite, Fe2O3 Ochres: a mixture of Iron oxides elements compounds homogeneous heterogeneous copper vermilion, red lead blue frit blue frit + ochreIron oxide Hematite, Fe2O3Ochres: a mixture ofIron oxidesIron oxide Magnetite, Fe3O4
31 Egyptian Faience sculpture andbeadsThe blue color of faience is chemically the same ‘stuff’ as the pigment blue frit
32 elements. compounds. homogeneous. heterogeneous copper elements compounds homogeneous heterogeneous copper vermilion, red lead blue frit blue frit + ochreblue fritochre
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