The Telegraph has a terrific article about the preservation and study of renowned artists’ paint palettes:
Why preserve Van Gogh’s palette?
Why preserve an artist’s palette? The daubs of raw pigment or the mixes left in position can be an intriguing index to the working method and the mind of the artist. And most, once the status of art had been elevated above the realms of mere craft, would paint themselves palette in hand.
Where and how colour is laid can convey emotion, psychology, religious significance. “The whole value of what you are about” wrote John Ruskin in his Elements of Drawing, first published in 1857 “depends on colour. If the colour is wrong, everything is wrong: just as, if you are singing, and sing false notes, it does not matter how true your words are.”
The article goes on to describe and analyze the paint palettes of some of the greatest artists of the past couple of centuries, including Monet, Gaugin, and Van Gogh. It even includes pictures of some palettes, which I personally found excitingly fascinating.
My favorite of the pictured palettes is that of Seurat’s, pictured above. You can SEE his paintings through this palette, including some of the anal-retentiveness that must have gone into each pointillist painting.
I earnestly urge all artists and art connoisseurs to click on over to read the full article!