Event—Public Programming

Gold, Vermilion, and Five Different Kinds of Yellow: Karel Van Mander on the Materialities and Meanings of Color, circa 1600

In the Schilder-Boeck of 1604, Van Mander introduces yellow and vermilion as the brightest and most splendid of all the colors, both being associated, although in different ways, with gold. Whereas yellow and gold share similarities in appearance, vermilion and gold are (al)chemically related since both are believed to be combinations of sulfur and mercury. In her talk, Christine Göttler examines the dynamic triangular relationship between yellow, vermilion, and gold including their material and sensory affinities and their life-like and lively appearances; with its multiple material, historical, and geographical associations, gold is given a particularly agentive role.