Category Archives: Art history

A Color Manual Ahead of its Time

271 Years Before Pantone, an Artist Mixed and Described Every Color Imaginable in an 800 Page Book watercolor history color books Before technology made color automatic, creating the perfect hue required a rather systematic approach.

Prior to the days of RGB values and hexadecimal strings, humans used creative means to create color options. Depending on the medium, artists might have mixed paints and in some cases, added water to achieve lighter tones.

A Brief History of Watercolor

The concept of watercolor may be as old as time itself but it didn’t become a well-known, consistent art medium until the Renaissance.

Albrecht Dürer was considered the father of the trade. He was a German painter who had much influence throughout Europe in the 16th century. Often times, Dürer chose to use watercolor when bringing landscape settings to life.

In an age when art was held with high value, watercolor quickly became a popular art medium. It became so popular, that in 1692, during the Golden Age of Dutch Painting, a man by the name of A. Boogert wrote an 800 page color manual, by hand.

A Medieval Color Manual

271 Years Before Pantone, an Artist Mixed and Described Every Color Imaginable in an 800 Page Book watercolor history color books Predating Pantone (the modern-day authority on color) by nearly 300 years, Boogert compiled a comprehensive account of how to achieve different colors when adding water to paint. He explained how using one, two or three parts water would create three varying tones of the same hue. He organized each page by meticulously positioning varying shades of the same color.

This book was recently brought to light by medieval book historian, Erick Kwakkel. He noted that another scholar knew of the book’s existence and he only gave it a platform in the limelight because of his personal notoriety.

Ancient Art Trumps Modern Convenience

Regardless of how it came to the world’s attention, the book entitled, Traité des couleurs servant à la peinture à l’eau, is causing art enthusiasts to take note. While the concept of the book does not seem groundbreaking, it is causing a multitude of 21st century RGB-HEX artists to imagine the painstaking amount of work and attention that went into deciphering and mixing hundreds of hues.

271 Years Before Pantone, an Artist Mixed and Described Every Color Imaginable in an 800 Page Book watercolor history color books It would be nice to say that this book greatly contributed to how we use color today. In reality, the book was collecting dust before Kwakkel came across it a few weeks ago in a French database. Even though the book may have been the “most informative color guide of its time,” it was not widely distributed. Since the book was written by hand it has been assumed that the manual never made it into wide circulation.

Nevertheless, A. Boogert’s color manual recently made a splash. Upon its unearthing, much of the art community paused and shared thoughts about what it would be like to mix colors without technology.

Read more Segmation blog posts about historic art.

Color Symbolism in Medieval Christian Art

Art in Ancient Egypt

William Blake English Romantic Artist by www.segmation.com!

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Early Cave Art in Spain

art,cave,early,paintings,prehistoric man,caves,years

Early cave art is a topic that arouses much intrigue and interest in modern-day art history buffs. Early cave art is mysterious in many ways. After all, it’s tough for historians to know exactly why prehistoric individuals chose to create certain cave paintings and what inspired their subject matter. Still, art lovers travel the world each year in order to feast their eyes on the amazing early artwork of prehistoric man.

The oldest European cave art possibly began to crop up about 40,800 years ago. The “youngest” artwork featured in European caves is estimated to be between 10,000 and 20,000 years old. The younger artwork can be found in caves located on the north coast of Spain.

Those who visit the caves that house early paintings are typically astounded at the artistic excellence of the prehistoric artists. The paintings in these Spanish caves are reported to be so detailed that they appear to have “a life of their own.” Typical cave art paintings feature hand-prints, “strange symbols”, humans, and animals (such as dear, goats, bison, horses, and wild boars).

Early cave art was more than likely not painted for beauty’s sake. On the contrary, prehistoric man chose to create certain paintings for practical purposes. There are probably many reasons why animals figures, for example, were painted; some of those reasons probably had to do with religion and magical/fertility-related rites.

Historians aren’t totally certain of the reasons prehistoric artists chose to create early cave paintings. What historians do know is that “these works are early evidence of social activity, of humans engaged in expressing their desires, hopes, fears, in other words emotions that are still with us thousands of years later.”

View pictures of early cave art in Europe by visiting http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18449711.

Early cave art–even that which is over 40,000 years old–continues to captivate us, just as it did prehistoric man. That’s why it’s not uncommon for people to make long journeys just to get a look at these early cave paintings. Art is perhaps the only language capable of being understood by numerous people groups and generations.

Sources:

http://www.spainthenandnow.com/spanish-art/cave-paintings-in-spain/default_33.aspx

Note: Image does not belong to Segmation. The photo featured in this blog post was found at http://www.spainthenandnow.com/spanish-art/cave-paintings-in-spain/default_33.aspx.

Coming soon: Our next blog post is all about the first female tattoo artist. You won’t want to miss it!

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Thanksgiving Holiday Inspires Art Work

Each year on the fourth Thursday of November, a very special North American holiday takes place, and that holiday is Thanksgiving. The Thanksgiving season is known throughout the country as a time to delight in the presence of loved ones and enjoy a plethora of delicious food. A favorite holiday of many Americans, Thanksgiving inspires décor, recipes, movies, and even art.

Thanksgiving dates back to 1621, when it is assumed the first Thanksgiving took place at Plymouth. This early event was a celebration of an abundant harvest. Numerous artists throughout history have attempted to capture the imagined scenes from the first Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving has been the subject of many pieces of fine art for centuries. Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, “American painter and illustrator of Americana,” painted several Thanksgiving-themed scenes, including The First Thanksgiving (1915), The Mayflower Compact (1925), The Return of Miles Standish (1920), The Return of the Mayflower (1907), and The First Sermon Ashore (1921). Although The First Thanksgiving is said to be inaccurate in some of its representations, it gives us an idea of what the actual scene might have looked like so long ago.

Ferris was not the only individual whose art was influenced by Thanksgiving  – Charles Lucy, George Henry Boughton, Henry A. Bacon, Henry Sargent, and Edward Percy Moran also found inspiration in this holiday. Jennie Augusta Brownscombe painted a particularly iconic work titled The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth (1914). This painting has “become a symbol of the holiday for many Americans.”

The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth was executed by Brownscombe during the Colonial Revival Period. It is a tranquil, believable depiction of that first holiday that would come to mean so much to so many. This is an example of how art can help us imagine a significant historical event, deepening the overall meaning of it.

Make this Thanksgiving more memorable by creating your own seasonally-themed works of art. Segmation offers a SegPlayPC Thanksgiving pattern “paint-by-numbers” collection that makes it easy and fast to uniquely celebrate the holiday. The collection includes patterns of pumpkins, turkeys, cornucopias, pilgrims, etc., providing you a foolproof way to create scenes of your favorite aspects of Thanksgiving. Learn more about Segmation’s Thanksgiving pattern collection by visiting http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternset_contents.asp?set=THG.

http://www.joyfulheart.com/thanksgiving/pilgrim_artwork.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Leon_Gerome_Ferris

http://www.pilgrimhall.org/hpbrowns.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanksgiving

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