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Book: The Alchemy of Paint

Chapter: Metallic Blues: The Powers of the Planets

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.45921


An appreciation of medieval metallic blue pigments requires a deeper immersion into the artists’ mindset. Ultramarine showed that the artists’ world was different from the modern one, but at least it was securely anchored in the realm of the senses. Vermilion showed how the traditional and modern points of view differ – the shared world of sensations was accompanied by another world, one populated by ideas. This chapter explores the relationship between the world of things and the world of thoughts.

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