Skip to main content

36ème Congrès du CIHA - Lyon 2024

Parrainé par le Ministère de la Culture,
le Ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche,
le Ministère de l'Europe et des Affaires étrangères

Trade, production and availability of pigments in Early Modern Europe (1400-1800)

Romain Thomas 1, Claire Bételu 2, Anne Haack Christensen 3

1 Université Paris Nanterre, Institut national d'histoire de l'art - INHA (France), 2 Université Paris 1 (France), 3 Smk - Copenhagen (Denmark)

Sujet en anglais / Topic in english

The palette of the European artist of the early modern period (1400-1800) is fairly well known today through the cross-referencing of written sources and the results of physico-chemical analyses. Furthermore, in the last years important volumes and papers on the trade in painters’ materials have been published. As for now, the role of certain European hubs for the production of and/or the trade in pigments has been acknowledged, and various professions specialized in the making and retail of pigments in these centres have also been subject to studies. Moreover, scientific analyses, including the analyses of isotope ratios of chemical elements in pigments have opened up a new field of research. These analyses can help understand the ore location of raw materials, and together with other types of technical analyses they contribute to a better understanding of workshop practices, the supply of pigments, as well as the activity and mobility of painters.

All the same, the history of pigments still requires further development in relation to their production and trade, with a focus e.g. on their availability on a relatively fine scale in Europe, and over the whole early modern period (1400-1800), or on the terminology used to refer to them.