Tutti sappiamo cos’è il colore, riempie la vita di ognuno di noi, ogni giorno, tutto quanto ci attornia ha un colore; il cielo, il paesaggio, la nostra auto, le scarpe che indossiamo ed anche la nostra pelle, i nostri occhi e i nostri capelli. Potremmo ben dire che il colore è parte di noi.

Da un punto di vista fisico il colore è la capacità di una data  materia di rifrangere la luce o meglio il colore è ciò che il nostro cervello recepisce sotto forma di  radiazioni elettromagnetiche o frequenze di ciò che emana quella data materia in presenza di luce.

Se proviamo a pensare al significato profondo della percezione cromatica ci rendiamo conto di quanto il colore,  così amichevole e familiare ad ognuno di noi, nasconda un tema  vasto e complesso, direi ciclopico e come se non bastasse, in continua evoluzione. Basti dire che di colore si occupano la fisica, la chimica, la fisiologia, l’ottica, la psicologia e chissà quante altre scienze. Inoltre è materia della storia dell’arte, della simbologia, della filosofia e di chissà quante altre materie umanistiche.

Ogni patria, ogni religione, ogni congregazione, ogni associazione, ogni squadra sportiva, ogni società per azioni ha i propri colori resi simbolo in loghi, vessilli o bandiere.

I colori che meglio conosco e di cui posso occuparmi in questo mio blog sono quelli materiali, dalle caratteristiche chimico fisiche tangibili e misurabili, peso specifico, granulometria, acidità, basicità, potere colorante, stabilità alla luce, etc.

Sto parlando dei pigmenti

Nel restauro si usano i pigmenti puri, o quantomeno si dovrebbero usare, conoscerne le caratteristiche è fondamentale per la buona riuscita di un intervento di restauro. I pigmenti infatti hanno caratteristiche chimico fisiche peculiari che li rendono più o meno adatti all’utilizzo in una data situazione. Più o meno resistenti  alla calce quale medium o alla luce per esposizione.


I pigmenti si suddividono in categorie, classi e sotto classi

Innanzitutto possono essere organici o inorganici, naturali o di sintesi, la gamma è vastissima e in continua evoluzione. Restringerò quindi il campo ai pigmenti utilizzabili nel restauro che, guarda caso, corrispondono alla gamma dei pigmenti utilizzati nella maggior parte delle opere d’arte antiche (dipinti, affreschi ed opere policrome in genere).

I pigmenti della tradizione storica si possono raggruppare nelle seguenti categorie

  1. Pigmenti di terra o di cavatura
  2. Pigmenti minerali
  3. Pigmenti vegetali
  4. Pigmenti animali

Per dare un idea concreta di questa suddivisione farò alcuni esempi che certo non possono esaurire l’intera gamma:

I pigmenti di terra sono i più diffusi e variano dai gialli ocra alle terre d’ombra naturali o bruciate, ai bruni


I pigmenti minerali sono per lo più azzurri, alcuni verdi, blu, violetti ma anche il grigio grafite


I pigmenti vegetali sono alcuni verdi, alcuni gialli, il nero di vite


I pigmenti animali sono i rossi, tipo di cocciniglia o la porpora e il nero avorio


Nei prossimi articoli approfondirò il dettaglio alcuni singoli pigmenti

Una nota doverosa per gli ossidi , sono i colori in polvere più diffusi e meno costosi, nascono per l’industria della ceramica. Spesso vengono confusi con i pigmenti di cui sopra ma vanno utilizzati con cognizione di causa nell’arte in genere, mentre nel restauro non vanno utilizzati affatto, per via della loro instabilità, infatti questi colori trovano la loro stabilità solo a seguito di cottura.

Testi SilviaConti©RestauroConservativo


We all know what color is, fills the lives of each of us, every day, everything that surrounds us has a color; the sky, the landscape, our car, the shoes we wear and even our skin, our eyes and our hair. We could say that color is part of us.

From a physical point of view, color is the ability of a given matter to refract light or rather color is what our brain transpires in the form of electromagnetic radiation or frequencies of what emits that given matter in the presence of light.

If we try to think about the deep meaning of color perception, we realize how color, so friendly and familiar to each of us, conceals a broad and complex theme, I would say cyclops and as if it were not enough, constantly evolving. Suffice to say that color is concerned with physics, chemistry, physiology, optics, psychology and many other sciences. It is also a matter of the history of art, of symbolism, of philosophy and of many other humanities.

Every homeland, every religion, every congregation, every association, every sports team, every corporation has their own colors rendered as symbols in logos, banners or flags.

The colors that I know best and which I can deal with in this blog are material materials, tangible and measurable physical chemical characteristics, specific weight, granulometry, acidity, basicity, coloring power, light stability, etc.

I’m talking about pigments

In the restoration pure pigments are used, or at least they should be used, to know the characteristics is essential for the successful restoration work. In fact, pigments have peculiar physical chemical characteristics that make them more or less suitable for use in a given situation. More or less resistant to lime as medium or light for exposure.

The pigments are divided into categories, classes and subclasses

First of all, they can be organic or inorganic, natural or synthesized, the range is vast and constantly evolving. I will then restrain the field to the pigments that can be used in the restoration which, by chance, correspond to the range of pigments used in most antique works (paintings, frescoes and polychrome works in general).

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      Silvia dice:

      Grazie Ester, non appena ne avrò il tempo approfondirò il tema colore, è vastissimo e affascinante 🙂

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