July 27, 2021

Renaissance genius Raphael revived long-lost pigment invented by ancient Egyptians

The Renaissance painter Raphael used a rare type of pigment invented by the ancient Egyptians in one of his masterpieces, scientists have discovered.

Until now, it was thought that knowledge of the pigment, known as Egyptian blue, was lost with the fall of the Roman Empire.

But non-invasive spectograph analysis of one of his frescoes, The Triumph of Galatea, has shown that Raphael used Egyptian blue and knew how to make it from instructions that had been written down by the Romans.

In the masterpiece, which he completed around 1512-1514, he used the rich blue pigment to depict the sky, sea and even the eyes of human figures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *