To make swallowing easier, you may open the prussian blue capsules and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of liquid or bland food. For poorly understood reasons, these pigments often fade with time. Prussian blue is present in antoine watteaus 1717 painting pilgrimage to cythera, one of the earliest known appearances of the pigment, says alan wintermute, old masters and early british painting specialist at christies in new york. To kick off art uks colour series and because the history of art is inseparable to the history of colour lets dive into the history, chemistry and symbolism of blue. The story involves not only diesbach, but also johann konrad dippel. Prussian blue exchanges potassium for cesium or thallium at the surface of the crystal in the intestinal lumen. Prussian blue, discovered in 1704 or 1705, is generally regarded as the first of the modern colors. Apr 04, 2017 once again kerr leads us through the facts of history and the vagaries of human nature. Prussian blue pigment is significant since it was the first stable and relatively lightfast blue pigment to be widely used following the loss of knowledge regarding the synthesis of egyptian blue. To ensure that bernie follows through, mielke sends friedrich korsch, a. European painters had previously used a number of pigments such as indigo dye, smalt, and tyrian purple, which tend to fade, and the extremely. Japanese painters didnt have access to a longlasting blue pigment and began to import the prussian blue. Jan 24, 2012 dark blue uniforms in the prussian military predate the discovery of prussian blue pigment.
Today, prussian blue is still used as a pigment, but it also has other. I wanted a history of the development and use of color in art. Insoluble prussian blue decreases the half life of cesium by 33% and from 3. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading prussian blue a bernie gunther novel book 12. Much chrome yellow is used with prussian blue to make chrome green. As a pigment, it dates from the beginning of the xix century. The insoluble complex is excreted without being absorbed from the intestinal walls. The narrative is swift and adept, and so wellgrounded in the history and custom of the period that the reader is totally immersed. The empirical formulaminus the water of crystallizationis fe 7 cn 18. The discovery of prussian blue is credited to a german paint maker called diesbach. Blueprints, then and now newyork historical society. Lack of prussian blue staining on the walls of gas chambers. Prussian blue, an intense blue pigment, has a high tinting strength and produces a range of hues from the palest tint to a deep blackishblue. Prussian blue was the first stable and relatively lightfast pigment.
Product and company identification product product name. It is one of the first pigments made synthetically. Any artist who enjoys using prussian blue will find it hard to imagine that such a beautiful blue was actually the result of an experiment gone wrong. A vivid, lightfast blue pigment composed of synthetically produced ferric ferrocyanide. They even took to calling this novel color hiroshige blue. Tom hanks in prussian blue, philip kerr once more shows himself one of the greatest master storytellers in english.
As the story goes, he was trying to make a red pigment. Prussian blue is a dark blue pigment produced by oxidation of ferrous ferrocyanide salts. The pigment prussian blue consists of iron cations, cyanide anions, and water. Turnbulls blue is the same substance, but is made from different reagents, and its slightly different color stems from different impurities. This book finds bernie in the french riviera, working on. Gallerys collection in this book have been printed from. Prussian blue is the twelfth book in the bernie gunther series, yet again, it can be read as stand alone. The history of blue art images and its symbolic quality dip into the most philosophical and spiritual ideas shared throughout the world.
Prussian blue the art and science of color quintessence. You may need to take several capsules at one time to get the correct dose. Prussian blue absorbs a moderately high amount of oil 4050 grams of linseed oil per 100 grams of pigment to make a paste. Publication vol 3 fitzhugh, elisabeth west, feller, robert l. The color became incredibly popular with japanese printmakers in the late edo period, and katsushika hokusai, creator of some of the most easily recognizable works of japanese art, led the way. Prussian blue ci pigment blue 27 prussian blue was discovered around 1706 when a paint maker diesbach accidentally synthesised the product while trying to make a red lake of cochineal, using a sample of a potassium contaminated with iron. Prussian blue pigment quality artists pigments natural. Insoluble prussian blue decreases the half life of cesium by. In prussian blue, philip kerr once more shows himself one of the greatest master storytellers in english. Prussian blue was developed in berlin in 1704 by diesbach.
It rapidly gained popularity as first an artists medium, and later as a color fast dye. Prussian blue pb was actually the first synthetic color to be discovered during the industrial revolution. Diesbach accidentally formed the blue pigment when experimenting with the oxidation of iron. In 1842, the english astronomer sir john herschel discovered that prussian blue had a unique sensitivity to light, which could be manipulated to create copies of a single drawing. Europeans werent the only ones feeling thirsty for blue sometimes literallythe prussian blue pigment even made its way into english teacups. In 1828 a low cost blue was created by jeanbaptiste guimet called french ultramarine. Today, prussian blue is still used as a pigment, but it also has other applications. In the early 18th century prussian blue ferric hexacyanoferrateii, the first purely synthetic pigment, was discovered. That in the printing ink was identified as prussian blue plus the presence of crystals of ultramarine blue dispersed between the paper fibres. Download it once and read it on your kindle device, pc, phones or tablets. Fading and colour change of prussian blue the national gallery.
It was developed accidentally in 1704 by a chemist who was trying to produce another color. Graham artists watercolor prussian blue, 15 ml tube. Prussian blue, an intense blue pigment, has a high tinting strength and produces a range of hues from the palest tint to a deep blackish blue. Prussian blue is still used as a pigment, but it also has other applications ranging from electrochromics and sensors to poison antidotes. Although the preparation methods have been recognized since the mideighteenth. With his cover blown, he is waiting for the next move in the catandmouse game that, even a decade after germanys defeat, continues to shadow his life. Prussian blue, the color of great waves and starry nights. Prussian blue ferric ferrocyanide the first modern synthetic pigment probably synthesized by the paint maker diesbach in berlin around the year 1700 is a dark blue pigment with the chemical formula fe7cn18. Ferric hexacyanoferrateii, known as prussian blue, has the empirical formula fe 4 fecn 6 3. Nov 14, 2017 europeans werent the only ones feeling thirsty for blue sometimes literallythe prussian blue pigment even made its way into english teacups.
A rare 1847 2 pence deep blue unused stamp was analysed using raman microscopy in order to determine the identities of the pigments on the stamps. The artificial pigment is chemically identical to genuine ultramarine but. Prussian blue pigments, highly insoluble mixedvalence ironiii hexacyanoferrateii complexes of typical stoichiometry fe4iiifeiicn63xh2o or kfeiiifeiicn6xh2o, have been used as pigments in oil paintings and watercolors for 300 years. However, the success of prussian blue goes beyond its role as a pigment. Dec 06, 2016 appreciating the mystic and explorative qualities of color, blue art pigments are considered to represent the most popular and the most mysterious choice. It is the traditional blue in blueprints and is used as an antidote for certain kinds of heavy. Prussian blue is usually taken 3 times per day for at least 30 days. Schmincke soft pastel prussian blue 066b blick art materials. The new prussian blue pigment that dippel and diesbach discovered replaced the expensive lapis lazuli color. Prussian blue paint was introduced in 1787 when the adamesque ceiling decoration was added to update the room. Prussian blue a bernie gunther novel book 12 kindle. This seems odd with respect to the iron oxidation state until you learn that the complex contains feii and feiii.
From the decorative egyptian blue of the ancient world, to the precious ultramarine and prussian blue pigments used in some of the worlds greatest masterpieces, the color blue has a fascinating history spanning around 6,000 years. Prussian blue was the first totally modern synthetic pigment made as a product of a chemical reaction. Pdf on the discovery and history of prussian blue researchgate. It will emit toxic hydrogen cyanide gas if heated, exposed to ultraviolet radiation, or treated with acid. Prussian blue is the 12th book and once again we meet bernie gunther at the french riviera in while the original series started with the infamous berlin noir trilogy, which i found well written but unnecessary crude and misogynistic, i found the continuation by its original writer 15 years later a lot better and actually more interesting.
The reason all acrylic ranges in the early days of acrylics had phthalo blue as the standard dark blue color is that prussian blue was very sensitive to the alkaline environment of wet acrylic paint and so was very unstable. You can still paint with prussian blue today, although other synthetic blue pigments and paints have since been developed, but the pigment has found other uses. Prussian blue, also known as berlin blue, is a dark blue colour that is artificially made. The brilliant history of color in art by victoria finlay. These pages show the first reports in england on the synthesis from dried cattle blood of prussian blue, an important pigment with an interesting history that has played a part in my own story. It is made by adding ferric chloride to a boiling solution of hexacyano ferrate. The long and fantastic story of blue art pigments widewalls. The transformational powers of prussian blue christies. A short history of pigments the story of pigments is a story of chance, experimentation and science but above all it is about providing human beings with the means by which to express themselves, and this has helped create some of our greatest artistic movements including the renaissance, impressionism and modernism. On the discovery and history of prussian blue alexander kraft, gesimat gmbh, berlin introduction in the early 18th century prussian blue ferric hexacyanoferrateii, the first purely synthetic pigment, was discovered. Prussian blue is used as a pigment in watercolor and oil paints as well as printing inks. Prussian blue like so many other innovations in color, was the result of a serendipitous accident. It was probably synthesized for the first time by the paint maker diesbach in berlin in 1704, and it was one of the first synthetic pigments. It has a strong reddish blue colour, and its importance was soon recognised by the paint industry.
The latin text and english commentary appeared in 1724 in the philosophical transactions of. Matisse prussian blue is a real wow factor kind of color. Prussian blue aqueous pigment dispersion, discovered in 1704 or 1705, is generally regarded as the first of the modern colors. Improper fitting will show up as definite, easytosee, bright streaks. The long, strange history of prussian blue everyones favorite colorfrom cezanne to rhesus monkeys started out as a chemistry experiment gone wrong, according to joshua cohens history of. Prussian blue database of atrftir spectra of various. The name prussian blue originated in the 18th century, when the compound was used to dye the uniform coats for the prussian army. The accidental creation of prussian blue pigment thoughtco. It was also used as a colorant is cyanotypes, blueprint paper, laundry blue, linoleum, leather, plastics, paper, and cosmetics. One of the chemical elements in this compound is iron.
In 1704, a german colour maker diesbach created prussian blue by accident in his laboratory and this became the first chemically synthesized colour. As we shall see, it was a discovery that would electrify the art world and prove to have valuable applications in many fields, ranging from medicine to technology. All around us, blue forever seems to be out of reach. This new blue pigment was less expensive and more readily available or. Considered the first artificial pigment, prussian blue was created in the 1700s, ironically, by an artist seeking to create a new source for red paint. Once again kerr leads us through the facts of history and the vagaries of human nature. It was called beroai, or berlin blue, and it became popular because it did not fade like traditional japanese blue pigment, aigami, made from the dayflower. The pigment is decomposed by dilute alkalis to form brown iron hydroxide, but it is resistant against dilute mineral.
Relationship between the synthesis of prussian blue. It was accidentally found in 1704 by two chemists in berlin. Prussian blue, the color of great waves and starry nights the awl. Prussian blue was used by both hokusai, in his famous wave paintings, and hiroshige. In kerrs newest book, prussian blue, gunther is placed in 1956 with flashbacks to the late 1930s and he is on the run from gdr official erich mielke kerr often uses real people, mixed in with the fictional, who wants him to commit a murder for him. The pigment was available to artists by 1724 and was extremely popular throghout the three.
This new blue pigment was less expensive and more readily available or more easily produced. It was discovered by accident in 1704 by the berlin color maker heinrich diesbach, who was trying to create a pigment with a red hue by mixing iron sulfate and potash. The discoverer of prussian blue, the colormaker diesbach, was in fact not trying to make a blue, but a red. Egyptian blue, the blue pigment of mediterranean antiquity. It was made by the colormaker diesbach of berlin in about 1704. Prussian blue a bernie gunther novel book 12 kindle edition by kerr, philip.
Prussian blue is not only the first synthetic pigment, it has the second smallest particle size after carbon black, and flows easily through fountain pens without clogging. Nanoparticles of prussian blue are used as pigments in some cosmetics ingredients according to the european union observatory for nanomaterials. Prussian blue simple english wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The story of prussian blue begins with an accidental but fateful discovery made in an alchemists laboratory in berlin in the early 1700s. Prussian blue is a hue of blue that emerged in germany in the eighteenth century when the swiss paint maker johann jacob diesbach invented the synthesised pigment.
Another name for the color is berlin blue or, in painting, parisian or paris blue. The vibrant prussian blue pigment used in hokusais great wave and van goghs starry night has long been considered to be quintessentially japanese. Fine art painting and decorative coatings company company name. On the discovery and history of prussian blue alexander kraft, gesimat gmbh, berlin introduction in the early 18th century prussian blue ferric hexacyanoferrate ii, the first purely synthetic pigment, was discovered. Prussian blue is a synthetic organic pigment of deep blue hue with greenish tint. Beginning in the 1820s, prussian blue was imported into japan through the port of nagasaki. Books brushes grounds mediums paints pigments dispersions. Pigments through the ages history prussian blue webexhibits. Prussian blue was an expensive pigment, having the peculiar property of deepening in color as pressure was applied to the brush, creating an irregular or striated effect. Prussian blue and its partner in crime journal of art in. The long, strange history of prussian blue fast company.
For example, prussian blue is also used to treat people who have been internally contaminated with. A popular pigment among painters, pablo picasso, wassily kadinsky, yves klein and others all chose to base many of their works on the colour. Blue colors were sparsely used in the first colored japanese ukiyo. The brilliant history of color in art by victoria finlay disappointed me. Similarly, prussian blue is the basis for laundry bluing. Atrftir spectra of conservationrelated materials in the midir and farir region.
The first modern, artificially manufactured color was prussian blue. Researchers have experimented replacing some of the iron atoms in prussian blue with cobalt. The empirical formulaminus the water of crystallizationis. The production of prussian blue is described as difficult to control and may result in. Finlays work in an article online and thought that this book. A number of different, even if chemically related compounds, are named prussian blue. Joshua cohen traces the history of what was once the most valuable color in his fascinatingand exhaustingly researchedessay thirtysix shades of prussian blue, in triple canopys.
Jul 22, 2019 prussian blue may work best if you take it with food. Prussian blue is not considered toxic, however, care should be used in handling the dry powder pigment to avoid inhaling the dust. The unabsorbed light is reflected and thats why we see prussian blue as blue. Prussian blue a histology stain for iron bitesize bio. The creation of prussian blue, the first modern, synthetic color was completely accidental. In march 1708, he had sent a letter to gottfried wilhelm leibniz, the president of the royal academy of sciences, explaining his discovery of a pigment he called preussisch blau. Nontoxic, affordable and stable, the new blue spread rapidly throughout europe, its dense tint making it ideal for rich rococo scenes. It is extremely wellbehaved on even cheap paper stock, lightfast, permanent, archival, and waterproof, in addition to offering the most beautiful blue colour and being. Prussian blue, any of several deep blue pigments that are composed of complex iron cyanides and hence called iron blues. Oct 02, 2003 prussian blue exchanges potassium for cesium or thallium at the surface of the crystal in the intestinal lumen. Prussian blue is the first artificial pigment with a known history. Simon hibble lecturer in inorganic chemistry writes. Editions of prussian blue by philip kerr goodreads.30 306 490 142 320 1317 207 23 489 431 1374 1175 832 610 1480 1189 511 931 737 739 134 354 992 507 14 41 1462 589 915 217 477 132 641 1026 23 832 1171 814 1326 251 870