A Touch of Indian Yellow

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Dutch Master Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ is amongst the most recognisable works of art in the world. A classic example of the European Post-Impressionism wave, few who look at it realise that this masterpiece has a strong touch of India in it. The bright yellow moon peeking through the swirling dark blue sky is an example of the famed ‘Indian Yellow’ used in art, for centuries.
The story of the vibrant yellow pigment, which seems to have been created to fulfil all the stereotypes about India as a land of colours and light, is a fascinating blend of legend, art and science. it has as many names as legends associated with it! Called Purrée, Purèe, Purrhée, Piuri, Peori, Peoree, Pwree, Gogoli, Gaugil, Gogili, Monghyr Puri, Jaune Indien, Indischgelb, it is also amongst the most mysterious pigments to reach the artists’ palette. A natural organic pigment, it was valued for its warm colour, transparency and lightfastness.

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