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From test tube to Turner - the role of the chemist in art

Professor Andy Abbott looks at the changes in the artist's pallet from natural pigments through the work of the alchemist and the chemist.

A walk around any major art gallery will chart the changing face of fashion, housing and society, but probably more striking is that it also shows how humans have changed the colour of the world.

The revolutionary changes in art history match those in the chemical and industrial world. This talk correlates, using a series of demonstrations, the changes in the artist's pallet from natural pigments through the work of the alchemist and the chemist to the current kaleidoscope of vibrant and even fluorescent colours.

We will question what colour is and even challenge what art is. From primitive cave art through renaissance Italy, the Dutch School and the French Impressionists the work of the colour chemist has dominated the canvases of the world.

In a non-technical presentation the correlations are drawn between developments in chemical processing and the pigments available to the artist.


Professor Andy Abbott | talks | www


Date and Time:

12 April 2012 at 6:30 pm


2 hours



Royal Society of Chemistry
Burlington House
020 7440 3315

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