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Alphabe Thursday is for Zangar (verdigris) or green!

May 15, 2014

images (8)

Z is for Zangar Urdu for verdigris as described by Cennino as ‘lovely to the eye but doesn’t last’.  Leonardo  da Vinci a century later was worried that  ‘it vanishes into thin air if not varnished quickly’.  There also was another problem with the paint, like white lead, verdigris was a mortal enemy.  It was made rather like white lead but the metal suspended over the vinegar was copper after a while the combination would produce a poisonous green deposit.  It was a often called Van Eyck green because the Flemish master used it often and successfully. Unlike the Italians, namely Leonardo whose verdigris blackened as Cennini warned.

The Flemish artists used a varnish on the paint to preserve it and it has indeed lasted centuries. As seen in in Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Marriage  



alphabet thursday

17 Comments leave one →
  1. May 15, 2014 12:34 pm

    One of my favorite paintings!

    • May 15, 2014 12:54 pm

      It is quite an interesting painting historically I understand (or not) but I like it nonetheless

  2. Karen S. permalink
    May 15, 2014 1:15 pm

    A lovely paintings and one of those that is just perfect for telling or retelling of a story, or at least taking notice to all the things going on in the painting. These are some of my favorite styles that an artist can do.. I take lots of enjoyment in wondering why he or she put this or that in their painting!

  3. May 15, 2014 2:00 pm

    One of the most interesting paintings. I have a book about just this one painting, there is so much detail! ( Have I finished reading that well, not yet, despite having it in the house for about ten years so far!)

    • May 15, 2014 2:02 pm

      Oh!know what you mean I suffer this rather ‘disease’ also! 😉

  4. May 15, 2014 3:38 pm

    Interesting ! Didn’t know that !

  5. May 15, 2014 3:55 pm

    Creative post for Z and informative ~ xoxo

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

  6. May 15, 2014 6:29 pm

    I do love that painting, but never knew the story behind the pigment!

    • May 15, 2014 7:02 pm

      There are many stories about the painting too …. mainly to do whether she was pregnant or not … on her wedding day?

  7. May 15, 2014 11:35 pm

    I had no idea the latin term for green. Never would have guessed either. Thanks for the great lesson, as always.

  8. May 17, 2014 11:09 pm

    I did not know verdigris blackened. Interesting and informative post.

    • May 18, 2014 9:03 am

      No I didn’t either thanks for dropping buy and leaving a kind comment

  9. May 18, 2014 2:45 am

    and it’s a beautiful green color. I was trying to get my house that color, and it came out much-much lighter. Some say putrid green! {:-D

    • May 18, 2014 9:05 am

      Oh dear! I know what you mean … these guys have years of experience … probably made a few mistakes also!

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