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From The Getty Tumblr:

EGYPTIAN BLUE

Egyptian blue is the world’s oldest manmade pigment. And its recipe is so complex that it was lost for 1,500 years, from ancient Roman times till the 19th century.

First discovered at the time of the pyramids, Egyptian blue is made by mixing exact quantities of lime, sand, and a substance containing copper, then melting the blend in a furnace heated to between 1470 and 1650° F—no less, no more. What emerges is an opaque, crytstalline material that’s perfectly blue. Artists would grind Egyptian blue and mix it with egg white, glue, or acacia gum to create a paint the color of a “swimming pool in summer.”

More about this color (and lots of other blues!) in Victoria Finlay’s book The Brilliant History of Color in Art.

Eye made for an Egyptian statue, about 1200 B.C. Glass and gypsum. The J. Paul Getty Museum

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