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On Demand


Online Recorded Webinar

Red Metal: Mineral Colours in Ancient and Medieval Art.

This lecture is about the complex history of the powerful red mineral pigments -vermilion, red lead, and haematite. We will consider their integral role in the history of alchemy and philosophy as well as industry, and how this impacted on their use in painting across cultures.

Red Metal: Mineral Colours in Ancient and Medieval Art.
Red Metal: Mineral Colours in Ancient and Medieval Art.

Time & Location

On Demand

Online Recorded Webinar


About the Event

Colour & Craft is a short series of Art History lectures focusing on the hidden histories of

minerals and metals that were mined, smelted and processed to produce the raw materials

and colours for great works of art in the Medieval and Early Modern periods, both in the

East and the West. This weekly series of four lectures by Anita Chowdry is devoted to

minerals that provided four precious colour-groups, and their value in the decorative arts.

Referencing objects from museum collections, with a wide range of fascinating

documentary sources dating from Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Early Renaissance, this

series offers a rich tapestry of information, delving into history, folklore, trade, industry, art

and symbolism.

NB Other talks in this series can still be viewed as a recording by pressing the links:

Heavenly Blues explores one of the most sought after colours in the arts with a long history of industrial processing. This lecture will provide an overview of different mineral and chemical blues, their role in trade, and a focus on the finer points of using precious Lapis Lazuli as a pigment in painting and illumination in Persian manuscripts.

Rivers of Gold examines our perennial fascination with gold that has woven for us a rich cultural and industrial history, which includes its lavish use in the decorative arts. This lecture will explore a network of history, myth, and ancient technology, as well as a first-hand experience of the use of gold as a pigment in art.

Green Serene is all about the use and symbolism of green pigments and minerals, particularly in the context of the Islamic world. In the mineral world, green is associated with emeralds, jade, and also with copper, the earliest of the metals to be mined, smelted and processed. Its ores and derivatives provided us with a beautiful range of pigments that we see in ceramics and manuscripts.

Please note that the unique link and password are automatically changed at set intervals. It is therefore recommend to watch asap.


  • Regular, individual lecture

  • Creditor

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