Colour at The National Gallery

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Combing the Hair ('La Coiffure') about 1896, Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas © The National Gallery, London


The National Gallery presents Colour, an exhibition examining the history of colour in art.

It takes visitors on a journey back in time, exploring the wide range of materials that have been used to create colour not just in paintings, but in all types of art. Said to be the first exhibition of this kind in Britain, it has numerous rooms each dedicated to one colour from the spectrum, as well as rooms for gold and silver. The show has been drawn from the expertise of the gallery’s scientific department and the outstanding paintings residing in its collection. 

The works on display cover around 700 years of history, from the early Renaissance to the Impressionist movement. Along with the art treasures on display, the show also looks at the origins and developments of the physical materials used to create them. From natural mineral products to manufactured pigments, the technical secrets of the artists are laid out for all to see.  

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