Paint Palettes of the Old Masters

Vincent van Gogh's palette (Photo courtesy the Telegraph)

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.

The palette of Paul Gauguin, who said, "Pure colour! Everything must be sacrificed to it.” (Photo courtesy the Telegraph)

 

Eugène Delacroix's paint palette (Photo courtesy the Telegraph)

 

The palette of Georges Seurat (Photo courtesy the Telegraph)

 

Gustave Moreau's palette (Photo courtesy the Telegraph)

 

Auguste Renoir's palette (Photo courtesy the Telegraph)

 

The paint palette of Edgar Degas (Photo courtesy the Telegraph)

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By | 2016-11-11T21:55:48+00:00 08.08.11|Found, Images, Process|Comments Off on Paint Palettes of the Old Masters

About the Author:

I’ve spent almost 20 years helping thousands of successful artists of all disciplines and working to make the arts more accessible. (One friend likes to call me “the arts enabler.”) From 1999-2012 I worked at The MacDowell Colony, the nation’s oldest artist colony, but I've also done time at an arts magazine, a library, an art museum, and a raptor rehabilitation center. In May of 2012 I left MacDowell to pursue writing, speaking, curating, and creative projects full-time. In 2015 I was named a “Top 100 Artist, Innovator, Creative” by Origin magazine. I've appeared as an arts and culture commentator on New Hampshire Public Radio, and in 2017 I was the recipient of the Wampler Art Professorship at James Madison University. I am the founder of the Gwarlingo Salon series, which connects artists like DJ Spooky with rural audiences in the Monadnock region. In 2017 my collaborator Corwin Levi and I will publish our first book, Mirror Mirrored, which combines Grimms’ fairy tales with vintage illustration remixes and the work of contemporary artists like Kiki Smith, Carrie Mae Weems, and Amy Cutler. I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, but have called New Hampshire home since 1999. My studio is located in the historic, mill village of Harrisville. I miss fried okra, the early southern spring, and restaurants that stay open past 9:00 p.m., but rural life agrees with me. In New Hampshire I can see the stars, go kayaking or snowshoeing, watch bald eagles fish in the lake, and focus on my creative work in silence. I no longer have to worry about traffic jams; deer, wild turkeys, and frost heaves are the primary road hazards here. Although I live in the country, I’m fortunate enough to be part of a vibrant arts community that extends beyond this small New England village. The quiet days are punctuated by regular travel and frequent visits to museums, theaters, readings, arts events, lectures, and open studios around the country. (You can read my full CV here.) Thanks for visiting Gwarlingo. I hope you'll be in touch.