The large-scale exhibition presents painting, graphics, sculpture and decorative and applied art from the museum's collection, ranging from ancient masters to authors of our day.
Spectrum is a study of color based on masterpieces from the National Gallery collection. Color is central to human life. It functions on a subconscious level to determine how we perceive the world and how we feel. Color is an integral part of artistic practice, and its ability to communicate can evoke intuitive responses.
Artists have been experimenting with color ever since the first pigments were extracted from the earth. The production of paints and their natural or synthetic make-up, be it artistic pigments, ceramic glazes or dyes for textiles, has evolved over time, but the fundamental emotional power of color remains. It resonates with our senses visually, intellectually, and emotionally.
The exhibition explores the history and artistic use of twelve different colors. Each of the sections of the exhibition explores one color through the artwork chosen to illustrate the history of color, from its exotic origins and trade to its manufacture and symbolism over time and culture. Alongside the works will be samples of pigments used to create flowers, including lapis lazuli, cinnabar and Indian yellow, a brightly colored pigment extracted from the urine of cows that feed on mango leaves.