Blue: Cobalt to Cerulean in Art and Culture

Blue: Cobalt to Cerulean in Art and Culture

Language: English

Pages: 176

ISBN: 1452129401

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Blue, the world's favorite color, is elegantly showcased in more than 200 artworks from the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Representing a diversity of movements, cultures, and media that spans the ages and the globe, the objects in Blue range from ancient Egyptian jewelry and traditional Japanese prints to Impressionist paintings and indigo-dyed textiles. Short essays from museum curators on the significance and symbolism of the color at various times and places provide historical context for this visual feast. With page edges dyed blue, this distinctive volume is a bijou treasure.

Votive Panels and Popular Piety in Early Modern Italy

Stoned: Jewelry, Obsession, and How Desire Shapes the World

Futurism and Futurisms

Erotic Fantasy (Temporis Collection)

The Arts of Thailand





















while in ancient Rome, blue was a color of the working class—the original blue collar. For fancier blues, the Romans used dye from the indigo plant, which today gives my everyday blue jeans their shade. Hokusai used indigo, too, in parts of his print The Great Wave. But when it came to depicting the wave itself, he favored the exciting new Prussian blue, brought to Japan by Dutch traders. In turn, the Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh chose the same blue for his pulsating skies. These connections

Boston Bequest of Miss Elizabeth Howard Bartol, 27.534a-b PAGE 115 Japanese export, ca. 1660–80 “Kraak” Plate Hard-paste porcelain with underglaze blue decoration 45 cm (17 ¹¹⁄₁₆ in) Museum of Fine Arts, Boston The G. Ephis Collection—Museum purchase with funds donated anonymously, Charles Bain Hoyt Fund, John H. and Ernestine A. Payne Fund, Mary S. and Edward J. Holmes Fund, William Francis Warden Fund, Tamara Petrosian Davis Sculpture Fund, John Lowell Gardner Fund, Seth K. Sweetser Fund, H.

exchange from the Kiyi and Edward M. Pflueger Collection— Bequest of Edward M. Pflueger and Gift of Kiyi Powers Pflueger, 2012.568 PAGE 129 Katsushika Hokusai, Japanese, 1760–1849 In the Mountains of Tōtōmi Province (Tōtōmi sanchū), from the series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji (Fugaku sanjūrokkei) Japanese, ca. 1830–31, Edo period (1615–1868) Woodblock print (nishiki-e), ink and color on paper; the first printing, with blue outlines. 25.1 × 37.7 cm (9⅞ × 14¹³⁄₁₆ in) Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

technique, in which sections of the cloth are bound tightly together and held with stitches, to create intricate patterns on deep blue wrappers (see page 61). In Europe and other areas with colder climates, the processing of indigo derived from woad was difficult to do, and the yield was low. Indigo plants from tropical climates of India and Africa yielded far more dye, and processed indigo cakes were more easily shipped than the plants. When Europeans began the sea trade to Southeast Asia in the

the Chinese were creating in the fourteenth century but unable to produce this special highfired product themselves, the Persians—descendants of the Babylonians—began importing and commissioning blue-and-white porcelain pieces from China. Today, one of the largest collections of Yuan blue-and-white porcelain is, remarkably, in Iran. Soon, cobalt blue, with its implications of exoticism, expense, and status, was luring Chinese clients as well. The early blue-and-white imperial porcelain wares of

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