Making Colour

18 June – 7 September 2014

‘Making Colour’ will provide visitors with a unique and exceptional opportunity to journey through the history of colour, by exploring the wide range of materials that are used to create colour in paintings and other works of art.

‘Making Colour’ is the first exhibition of its kind in Britain. Each room will be dedicated to a particular colour from the spectrum, as well as a room devoted to gold and silver.

‘Making Colour’ will draw on the expertise of the Gallery’s Scientific Department and the spectacular range of paintings in the Collection. The exhibition will help visitors to understand the history of the use of colour over a 700-year period – from the early Renaissance to the Impressionist movement.

Visitors will explore the origins and developments of the physical materials themselves, from natural and mineral products to manufactured pigments. The exhibition also examines the material problems faced by artists in achieving their painterly aims; the breakthroughs they struggled for and the technical challenges they faced.

Several major national cultural institutions have loaned works for the display – which has painting at its heart but also includes minerals, textiles, ceramics and glass. These form a rich and diverse exhibition, which illustrates the importance of colour in the way that creators of works of art experience and represent the world.