It’s easy to take for granted that at the core of many pieces of art there are fundamental, chemical bases of the pigments and dyes used, allowing us to perceive a full spectrum of colors.
Developing and standardizing these chemicals into paints and inks is actually quite an interesting history! Our friends at Invaluable.com recently posted a great run-down.
“Natural, earthen pigments have been used since prehistoric times, with the earliest written record of their application dating back to 5000 BC. Civilizations from all over the world have utilized organic material from plants, animals, and minerals to create color they could apply to surfaces to create representational forms. Each civilization has had a unique method for creating and using natural dyes, and we’ve seen these methods transcend generations from antiquity, to the Renaissance, to contemporary practices today.”