"The Throne of Chaos" by Santiago Caruso / Ink & scratch on plastered paper / 2014
Cover of the book “Extraños Eones” by Emilio Bueso, Valdemar 2014
Κνωσσος Ανακτορο #knossos #crete #palace
Egyptian blue — a bright blue crystalline substance — is believed to be the first unnatural pigment in human history. Ancient Egyptians used a rare mineral, cuprorivaite, as inspiration for the color. Cuprorivaite was so rare searching and mining for it was impossible. Instead, using advanced chemistry for the time, Egyptians manufactured the color. It was made by mixing calcium compound (typically calcium carbonate), a copper-containing compound (metal filings or malachite), silica sand and soda or potash as a flux, then heating to between 850-950 C.
Egyptian blue was widely used in ancient times as a pigment in painting, such as in wall paintings, tombs and mummies’ coffins, and as a ceramic glaze known as Egyptian faience. Its use spread throughout Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and the far reaches of the Roman Empire. It was often used as a substitute for lapis lazuli, an extremely expensive and rare mineral sourced in Afghanistan. After the decline of the Roman Empire, though, Egyptian Blue quickly disappeared from use.