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Russian trace: the mystery of the green pigment in Picasso’s paintings was revealed at the Hermitage – Rodina

Date: July 12, 2024 Time: 18:41:48

The State Hermitage, within the framework of a joint project with the Karpinsky Institute, talked about the characteristics of the works of Pablo Picasso. In particular, about the secret of the rich green color in several of his paintings.

The biography of the Spanish artist is closely related to Russia. Pablo Picasso’s paintings were actively bought by Russian collectors Shchukin and Morozov. And his first wife, Olga Khokhlova, was a Russian dancer.

That same intense green color of Picasso’s paintings also appeared thanks to our country, the researchers noted.

That intense green color of Picasso’s paintings appeared thanks to our country. Photo: State Hermitage Museum

It is clarified that the artist used a mineral to make the green pigment. It is found only in the Ural regions of Russia. This is volkonskoite, which is formed by the interaction of groundwater enriched in chromium with organic matter (fragments of ancient tree trunks).

As experts note, the very appearance of chromium in the Ural rivers is not entirely clear. The mystery of the appearance of volkonskoite has not yet been solved, noted the authors of the project.

The color range of volkonskoite is also unique. Due to impurities, the color of the mineral can change, giving pistachio notes or turning blackish green.

“Mining Journal” of 1830 reported: “Volkonskoite was found in July 1830 in the Perm province. It has a conchoidal fracture and in large pieces is divided lengthwise into scrap. Its color is herbaceous, approaching onion green.” For some time, the mineral was confused with clay or a type of copper. Many years later, rumors about the mysterious mineral reached Pablo Picasso. As a result, the artist received a whole box of volkonskoite to produce pigment.

You can see the entire color palette that Picasso used by visiting the Sergei Shchukin and the Brothers Morozov Memorial Gallery on the fourth floor of the Hermitage General Staff Building.

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Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.

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