Published on April 24, 2012 12:01 PM
DURING the history of Art, from the earliest times to the present day, certain pigments have remained common to the artists palette, and while some have dropped out of use, others have been added. Although a great deal of information on the subject has been collected from the examination of old records, and, in addition, by the occasional analysis of the actual pigments used, the whole subject seems to me to be deserving of a more exact inquiry than it has as yet received.
It is, in the first place, a matter of considerable interest to know what pigments were in actual use at various periods in the history of Art, and how far in practice the old receipts represented the artists palette. Such information, if sufficiently complete, would be of great assistance in dating unquestionably many objects of art, and would in many cases be invaluable in detecting forgeries. Moreover, such an inquiry might result in the associating of certain pigments with certain places and schools of painting, and even with individual painters.
The inquiry, however, presents certain obvious difficulties, as it is seldom that the chemist is allowed sufficient freedom with an ancient picture or