Lost Colors

Pedro da Costa Felgueiras, an artist from London, has dedicated his studio’s work to the recreation of historic painting mixing and painting techniques. Nowadays, paints are all mixed with synthetic pigments, acrylic, and water — historically, paints were made with dangerous ingredients like lead, mercury, and arsenic. In order to revive the vibrance and beauty of the colors as they had once been (as opposed their disharmonious and “garish” looks on replicas), Felgueiras has been tracking down rare supplies of nearly obsolete ingredients to grind pigments by hand. Though I do not know much about Felgueiras, I very much admire him for taking on such a hefty task. Indeed, the visual sensations of naturally-occuring pigments are different from those of artificially created pigments. Having someone continue the historic craft of hand-mixing pigments and paints is an intangible kind of cultural property that should be preserved.

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