Journey through colour

Green

Our exhibition reveals how common it was for artists to struggle to find natural materials to make colour. Green was a particular challenge, despite it surrounding artists in the natural world, until the invention of stable green pigments in the 19th century. The 'Green' room also looks at how landscape artists mixed blues and yellows to create green.

David Ghirlandaio’sThe Virgin and Child with Saint John’, and Hans Memling’s ‘Virgin and Child’, show the different effects achieved by mixing green earth with either egg (the skin colour in the Ghirlandaio) or verdigris with oil (the background in the Memling).

Detail from Hans Memling, ‘Virgin and Child’,  perhaps about 1475
Detail from Hans Memling, ‘Virgin and Child’, perhaps about 1475

 

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