Lead White was the primary white pigment used in oil painting until the late twentieth century, and Chalk White was mainly used in the grounds under oil paint layers.
Lead antimonate yellow was the original Naple Yellow, but had first been used long before in glassware. Paintings by Claude Lorrain, Böcklin, Renoir, and others.
Known from ancient times, in the Renaissance it was the standard underpainting for flesh. Fine examples from Michelangelo, Vermeer, and others.
The standard blue pigment for the Renaissance and on, until about 1710, it was used in many Old Masters before disappearing by 1800.
Slow to be taken up, as they were so expensive and Chrome Yellow almost as good, they then came to dominate palettes, until their sudden fall from favour.
Two pigments: straight Chromium Oxide, which is rather dull, and the more intense Viridian. Paintings by Böcklin, Renoir, Manet, Monet, Seurat, van Gogh, and Cézanne.
A beautiful, intense green used by the van Eycks, Tintoretto, Domenichino, and Renoir, it was never popular in oil paints, and quietly died out.
One of the earliest synthetic pigments, it was widely used throughout Europe, India, and Asia. But like lead white, it is seriously toxic.
A mainstay for the Impressionists, their use in domestic products like wallpaper and even clothing killed people in the 19th century. Probably not Napoleon, though.
Introduction to the series, together with an illustrated table of contents, references, and more.