Thursday, September 22, 2016

Chinese Red 

.......and the more interesting, but not as well known, Chinese (Han) Purple

Image result for chinese purple terracotta warriors

Sherman Williams has a paint color called Chinese Red. Most everyone is familiar with the Chinese Lunar New Year hongbao, otherwise know as the red envelope, and the luck and prosperity associated with it, but have you ever heard of Chinese Blue or Chinese Purple? The Han Purple pigment was created in the Zhou period and is one of the earliest known man-made pigments. It was thought that the pigment traveled via the Silk Road and was originated from the Egyptian Blue. Later, scientists discovered after looking at the chemical make-up, that the pigment was formed with compounds different than that of Egypt.  The pigment dates back as as early as the Western Zhou dynasty (1045-771 BCE) but became became most popular during the Qin and Han Dynasties. (221 BCE to 220 CE). It is thought that the chemical make-up of Chinese Purple, combining sand, copper and barium, was the by-product of Taoist alchemists creating synthetic jade ornaments. The most famous Han purple can been seen on the terracotta warriors built during the Qin dynasty for Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China.  In another amazing example of the interconnections between art and science, it was discovered that under extreme cold and a high magnetic field the physical structure enters a new state. If exposed to under 1 degree Kelvin, it propagates only in the 2nd dimension

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