The Evolution of Color in Art: From Cave Paintings to Ancient Buildings

TLDR Early humans in prehistory started with simple black and red pigments for cave paintings, but as time went on, they discovered and used more colors like white, blue, yellow, and even purple. The use of color in art evolved and became an important aspect of human history, although many original colors have been lost over time.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Early humans in prehistory used colors they found around them to create the first works of art on cave walls, primarily using black or dark red, but as time went on, they learned how to create more colors and use them in different ways.
01:40 The first artwork created by humans was likely someone scratching an image on a rock with a burning stick, using black soot as the first form of art, but as time went on, people discovered more permanent pigments like charcoal mixed with animal fat.
03:05 Ochre and white were the first colors used in cave paintings, but as humans developed, they discovered more colors like vermilion and blue.
04:32 Egyptians used indigo and azurite for blue pigments, saffron for yellow, but struggled to find a simple source for green pigments.
05:56 Purple was a rare and expensive color, created by the Phoenicians using the mucus of predatory sea snails, and its association with royalty came from its high cost.
07:28 Purple became synonymous with the emperor, and the creation of the purple dye was a closely guarded secret due to its expensive and labor-intensive process, while the ancient world was far more colorful than what is seen in ruins today.
08:54 The original colors of ancient buildings and statues have often been lost over time, but recent discoveries have shown that they were actually painted, highlighting the importance of color in human history.
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