The Philosopher’s Stone is Blue

Courtney Abruzzo
Jul 9, 2020 · 7 min read

How Prussian Blue is Poised to Save Your Life

Prussian Blue is used in both art and medicine.

Blue is a phantom color. Many of the things we perceive as blue aren’t really blue, but appear that way due to a trick of the eye.

The Girl with the Wine Glass (detail), Vermeer, c. 1659–1662, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, Brunswick

Even more intriguing, and in a strange twist of fate, the new color’s chemical composition was so powerful that it became for some a prescription for murder and, for others, the Philosopher’s Stone Dippel had intended to make all along.

The Blue Era Begins

Imagine smearing your palette with a genocidal poison, or painting your canvas with a panacea. When you use the color Prussian Blue, you’re essentially doing both. Sometimes when art and science intersect, the results are either Edenic or holocaustic.

Life from the Ashes

Cyanotype by Anna Atkins from the first photographic book ever printed
Pandora, circa 1914, Odilon Redon, Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Courtney Abruzzo

Written by

Artist. Art teacher. Mom. Social Emotional Arts Facilitator. www.curatehappiness.com

Lessons from History

Lessons from History is a platform for writers who share ideas and inspirational stories from world history. The objective is to promote history on Medium and demonstrate the value of historical writing.

Courtney Abruzzo

Written by

Artist. Art teacher. Mom. Social Emotional Arts Facilitator. www.curatehappiness.com

Lessons from History

Lessons from History is a platform for writers who share ideas and inspirational stories from world history. The objective is to promote history on Medium and demonstrate the value of historical writing.

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