18 June – 7 September 2014
Each room in the exhibition is dedicated to a particular colour from the spectrum, as well as gold and silver.
Drawing on the expertise of the gallery’s scientific department, the display explores the range of materials that have been used to create colour in paintings and other works of art. Delving into the technical challenges artists faced in achieving their painterly ambitions, it also charts the breakthroughs they made.
Examples span the early Renaissance to the Impressionist movement, in order to explore the history of colour over a 700-year period. Special focus is given to the origins and developments of the physical materials themselves, from natural mineral products to the development of manufactured pigments.
Works encompass painting, textile, ceramic and glass, and together, they illustrate how colour enables artists to represent their vision of the world.
Find out more about the works in the exhibition with our interactive wheel, Making colour: Pick your favourite.