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HANDELN MED FÄRGER I HÄLS… - University of Gothenburg, Sweden Till startsida
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Journal article
Authors Ingalill Nyström
Anders Assis
Published in RIG: Kulturhistorisk tidskrift
Issue 2-3
Pages 104-120
ISSN 0035-5267
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Conservation
Pages 104-120
Language en
Keywords Handel, färger, pigment, färgämnen, Hälsingland
Subject categories Other Humanities not elsewhere specified, Visual Arts, History, Technology and culture


Trade with colors in Hälsingland during 1700s and 1800s This article is about the trade of painters’ materials - pigments, dyes and binders - in Hälsingland during the 1700s and 1800s. Two trading houses in Hudiksvall, one pharmacy in Söderhamn and three local utility shops in Delsbo, Färila and Fågelsjö are studied. The purpose is to understand how the painters were able to acquire their painting materials as well as to have an idea of the products available and the price level at that time. The empirical study material consists of church and bankruptcy documents, court and visitation records, and other archival material of various traders and pharmacists. In the conclusion we compare the results from the archive study with the paint analyses conducted in the research project called Decorated farmhouses of Hälsingland: a holistic study of a World Heritage Site, funded by the Swedish Research Council. The historic sources provide the opportunity to study differences and similarities in supply and range as well as where the materials more specifically were acquired. During the 1700s, dyes and pigments were sold in the pharmacies or merchant in the town. In the 1800s, it gradually became easier to buy such materials in rural areas. The supply and the demand appear to have been high during the period. In some cases, there is evidence that individual painters acquired specific painters’ materials from a particular trader. In the 18th century mainly dyes and earth pigments such as ochers was marketed in Hälsingland. In paintings from this period, we have found mainly: indigo, yellow and red dyes as well as ochres, carbon black and chalk. In the 19th century, the range of dyes, pigments and binders and other paint-related products increased. The most common pigments found in paintings from this period are litharge and red lead, yellow and red ochres, cinnabar, Prussian blue, carbon black and copper green. Although we found them in paintings, no lead-tin yellow, chrome yellow, emerald green nor synthetic ultramarine blue have been found in the archive materials.

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