Why is van Gogh’s paint palette worth preserving? Lucy Davies, photography critic for the Telegraph, tackled this question in a blog post she wrote last year:
“The daubs of raw pigment or the mixes left in position can be an intriguing index to the working method and the mind of the artist…Where and how colour is laid can convey emotion, psychology, religious significance. ‘The whole value of what you are about’ wrote John Ruskin in his Elements of Drawing, first published in 1857 ‘depends on colour. If the colour is wrong, everything is wrong: just as, if you are singing, and sing false notes, it does not matter how true your words are.’”
These photographs of palettes used by painters like van Gogh, Gaughin, and Degas are fascinating to peruse. You can read Davies’ full piece on the use of color in painting here.
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