The Combination of the Voronet Blue Color is still a Mystery in 2018!

in science •  11 months ago

Blue Voroneţ - after 450 cold winters and hot summers, the faces of the saints can be distinguished.

How is it possible for a plaster painted with a primitive craft to last for 450 years without any "improvement" over time, when today's buildings, with all the advanced technique, must be "spoiled" in a few years? This question is made by thousands of tourists visiting the Humor Monastery.

The church of the monastery was built of river stone "bound" with lime and sand mortar. In 1532, when the construction was finished, the first plaster was given. In order for the services to be held in a "beautified" church, the gray plaster was quickly painted with small squares, red and white, imitation of stones and brick. Then there came the painters of the painters, whose paintings resisted even today. They gave a new plaster of lime (made of lime stone) exfoliated with towers.

The longevity of the paintings hung by the handicrafts of the painters to put the colors on this plaster. The saints had to be painted when the wall was still damp; but neither too loud nor too little. If he had licked the painting until the plaster dried up, the colors would have turned into dust for a long time. So the craftsmen divided the walls of the church into small surfaces to finish them in one day, and painting always started from the top to the ground. For the eye does not perceive any hazy line or any hint of difference, the one-day giornato, as it is now called in specialty terms, was a biblical scene separated from the others by lines.

The thing was divided into "specializations". First, the contour of the drawing was sketched with black or ocher. Then they covered large surfaces with pre-cut color tones. It was only at the end that the craftsman, who was changing the details of his clothes, his eyes, his hands, and his lights and shadows. White was the last color. It was much used by craftsman to give the impression of fallen light on faces or garments. Remaining shining now, white was then made from cheese. Take cottage cheese, after all the cream of milk has been removed and mixed with lime powder. Although both ingredients were solid, a mixture of calcium - calcium caseinate, as it is now called, was a mixture of them. After applying the colors, the water came out of the plaster and formed a crust whose purpose was to protect the painting.

A fortune for blue azure

The secret of white and other natural colors used to paint the church was easily understood. The blue, however, the famous "Voroneţ Blue", as it is said, gave the specialists a lot of attention. "Its name is azure blue, and the color is not only found in Voroneţ, but also in other monasteries in Moldova raised during the same period. And the Humor Monastery used the same substance. Many tourists are convinced that Voroneţ is something else, because the hue is lighter, more vivid. It is possible to have only one opinion, since Voroneţ is predominant in blue and Humor the red, or there may be another nuance due to the fact that the Voroneţ craftsman applied the paint on a wetter plaster than to Humor, "says Maria Dumbrăviceanu, specialist restorer.

Anyway, the color composition remained a mystery until thorough lab tests were done. It is now known that azureite stood at the base of the blue. The stone crumbled until it came to dust and became the paint by mixing it with an organic substance that has not yet been identified. "Any test shows you the basic chemical compounds. How they were originally linked, especially in an organic substance, is hard to find. " Azurit is not native to Romania, and given the large blue-painted surface, raising the church probably cost a fortune.


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Acele picturi sunt extraordinare. Zilele trecute am fost la Agapia, o manastire pictata de Grigorescu, o alta capodopera romaneasca.

Voroneţ Monastery is one of the most famous and most visited monasteries in Romania, unique in the world. Interesting post.


Thanks for confirming 😀

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