Thursday, December 08, 2011


This is probably more for decorators than archaeologists but I couldn't resist!! The Art Newspaper (No.229, Nov.2011) reports new research into the truth behind what we know as “Pompeian” red.

The color name was taken from the red seen in the frescoes discovered in the excavations of Pompeii. It is now known that in many of these the original color was yellow. Researchers at the National Institute of Applied Optics, Florence, Italy, attribute the shift in color to chemical reaction of the yellow pigments to the gases released by
the eruption of Vesuvius.

For many years certain scholars have believed that as many as 57 frescoes from Herculaneum and Pompeii were originally yellow. Now it is believed that of the 303 known frescoes 165 frescoes were originally red


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