BLUENET: A new research network for Egyptian blue!

In June 2021, a research network called BLUENET was created by Antonio Sgamellotti, Professor Emeritus at Perugia University and member of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, following the exceptional discovery by his research group, of the Egyptian blue pigment in Raphael’s fresco, “The Triumph of Galatea” (1511-12) at Villa Farnesina, Rome, the headquarters of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.

Such an unexpected finding after centuries of oblivion, currently the first finding dated to the Renaissance period, has posed many question about the  provenance of this Egyptian blue, and whether its use by Raphael was the tip of the iceberg in an underground but continuous production, or a freshly-produced batch to satisfy the urbinate master's well-known passion for the Antique and thorough knowledge of the classical sources.

BLUENET was thus established to study the chronology of Egyptian blue use, its geographical spread through manufacturing features, such as its major and minor components, and the extensive census of its presence in artworks through non-invasive techniques. To date, BLUENET has gathered about 70 institutions and 115 researchers excited to share their work about Egyptian blue. Read more here.

The first BLUENET conference, "BLUENET 2022", will be held in Rome, at the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei and at the Archaeological Park of the Colosseum on 5th October, 2022. The program is being defined and will be announced shortly. 

For more info contact:

Added: 15/03/2022.

The BLUENET logo
Image: courtesy of BLUENET

Detail from the Triumph of Galatea, showing the distribution of Egyptian blue and of the main chemical elements obtained with non-invasive analyses.
Image: courtesy of Villa Farnesina.

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