March 7, 2017

Blue: Cobalt to Cerulean in Art and Culture by Museum of Fine Arts Boston

By Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Blue, the world's favourite colour, is elegantly showcased in additional than two hundred artistic endeavors from the gathering of the Museum of good Arts, Boston. Representing a variety of activities, cultures, and media that spans the a while and the globe, the items in Blue variety from historic Egyptian jewellery and standard jap prints to Impressionist work and indigo-dyed textiles. brief essays from museum curators at the value and symbolism of the colour at numerous occasions and areas supply ancient context for this visible ceremonial dinner. With web page edges dyed blue, this unique quantity is a bijou treasure.

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Extra info for Blue: Cobalt to Cerulean in Art and Culture

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In composition, Egyptian blue mimics the rare mineral cuprorivaite, which is seldom found in nature and was only identified in 1938. The synthetic form was widely used in antiquity, but its use diminished precipitously after the fall of the Roman Empire until interest in it revived in 44 clockwise from top left: NUBIAN Head of a Nubian, ca. 1700–1550 BC NUBIAN Figure of a Scorpion, ca. 1700–1550 BC EGYPTIAN Face of Hathor or Bat, 760 BC–AD 337 A LT HOUGH T H E T ER M faience has, since the Middle Ages, been associated with colorful tin-glazed earthenware from Europe, the rich blues of Egyptian faience constitute a far more ancient, unique ceramic production.

Because of both its solar connotations and its relationship to rebirth, blue was an important color for funerary objects. After death, the Egyptians hoped to join the sun god in his journey across the heavens, as a result of which they could be reborn for eternity. During the Old Kingdom (2600–2100 BC), the mummies of elite women wore dresses and broad collars made of blue faience beads (see page 8), and in the Late Period (760–332 BC), blue beaded nets covered the mummies of both men and women (see page 34).

Sculptural objects such as a magnificent, nearly half-life-size lion body (see page 19) and a large scorpion appeared at this site in ancient Egypt (see page 45). These objects were carved from white quartzite and glazed with a brilliant, translucent blue that, when fired, fused to the stone in heat intense enough to temporarily slightly soften the stone itself. Another blue pigment, Egyptian blue, first produced around 4500 BC, is considered the earliest synthetic pigment (see pages 52 and 54). Like Egyptian faience, it contains silica, an alkali, and copper as a colorant, but with the addition of calcium, often from limestone.

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