“Oil painting alfresco was naturally the next big change. For cen­turies, artists had stored their paints in pigs’ bladders. ….. Then in 1841 a fash­ionable American portrait painter called John Goffe Rand devised the first collapsible tube — which he made of tin and sealed with pli­ers. After he had improved it the following year and patented it, artists in both Europe and America really began to appreciate the wonder of the portable paintbox. Jean Renoir once told his son that without oil paints in tubes: ‘There would have been no Cezanne, no Monet, no Sisley or Pissarro: nothing of what the journalists were later to call Impressionism.’

Read more of this short and fascinating except from about how something that we don’t even think about — like a tube for storing paint — can change the world.


And for the whole book:

Color: A Natural History of the Palette
Author: Victoria Finlay
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Copyright 2002 by Victoria Finlay
If you wish to read further: Buy Now