Sometimes knowing where something came from changes the way you perceive it. I’m in love with cobalt blue right now and when I began to dig around for a bit of history I was instantly smitten with all things cobalt. Here is what I found…..
It’s a cobalt oxide-aluminum oxide. Very costly and extraordinary stable pigment of pure blue colour discovered by Thénard in 1802. It is now the most important of the cobalt pigments. Although smalt, a pigment made from cobalt blue glass has been known at least since the Middle Ages, the cobalt blue established in the nineteenth century was a greatly improved one.
The isolation of the blue color of smalt was discovered in the first half of the eighteenth century by the Swedish chemist Brandt. In 1777, Gahn and Wenzel found cobalt aluminate during research on cobalt compounds. Their discovery was made during experimentation with a soldering blowpipe. The color was not manufactured commercially until late in 1803 or 1804.
Vincent van Gogh declared to his brother Teo, ‘Cobalt [blue] is a divine colour and there is nothing so beautiful for putting atmosphere around things…”
Image Via: The Lennoxx
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