Historical Photos of the Color Industry
I had these old photos laying around - might make for some interesting discussion. Take a peek:
First, here is an advertisement for Lefranc Colors, A French paint-maker (still in business today, as Lefranc-Bourgeois). This is from the late 1800s. Check the colors on this palette! (Note, the larger image is like 300K, so it will take a while to pull down):
<IMG SRC="http://www.wetcanvas.com/pub/scottb/tn_lefranc_couleurs.jpg" border=0>
You can view <A HREF=http://www.wetcanvas.com/pub/scottb/lefranc_couleurs.jpg>the larger image here.</A>
According to the text in the image, the colors are (rough translation):
Among the colors you'll see are Ivory Black (run! flee!), burnt sienna, white, cobalt blue, "mineral blue" - hmm, emerald green, naples yellow, cadmium yellow, indian yellow, natural (raw) sienna, yellow ochre, vermillion, and rose...
In the old days, before the concept of paint "tubes" came about, the paint was kept in small bladders, generally made from pigskin, or intestine (disgusting by today's standards, but that's the way it was back then). When the artist wanted some paint from a bladder, they would poke a hole in it with a knife, and squeeze out the desired amount. The paint would eventually form a "skin" over the hole they created, effectively closing the bladder. Nifty! Here is a photo of an old artist's sketchbox, clearly showing the little bladders of paint!
<IMG SRC="http://www.wetcanvas.com/pub/scottb/box_o_bladders.jpg" border=0>
When tubes finally did come into play, they were not the plastic tubes we're used to today. They were made of metal, as shown in this photo:
<IMG SRC="http://www.wetcanvas.com/pub/scottb/old_metal_tubes.jpg" border=0>
[This message has been edited by scottb (edited July 06, 2000).]