|Johann Jacob Diesbach chemistry|
- Diesbach accidentally added
- potash tainted with Dippel’s oil
- to his preparation of red cochineal dye.
- The result, instead of a red dye,
- was a distinct blue pigment,
- insoluble in water, iron ferrocyanide.
- Egyptian blue and Han blue
- were the first
- synthetic pigments—calcium copper silicate
- in Egypt
- and barium copper silicate
- in China.
- Europe lost how to make Egyptian blue
- after the Roman era,
- so artists used dyes that faded
- while they reserved
- expensive preparations of finely ground lapis lazuli
- for Mary’s robes.
Shades of Prussian blue
- “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” by Hokusai,
- the first of his thirty-six views of Mount Fuji,
- uses three shades of Prussian blue to depict the waves.
- “Fine Wind, Clear Morning,”
- the second of his thirty-six views of Mount Fuji,
- uses three shades of Prussian blue to depict the sky.
- The Jewish people made the blue dye tekhelet
- from secretions of the snail Hexaplex trunculus.
- They say it was the color of the pure sky at noon, the color
- of the sea, or maybe the color of the sky in moonlight.
- It’s hard to know exactly what color it was,
- but it is written that it was like the throne of glory
- and it was difficult to obtain, especially after
- they lost their knowledge of how to make it.