chapter  10
Leonardo’s choice madder lakes
Pages 37

THE SHADES of colour of madder lakes vary through scarlet, carmine red, red with a bluish tint and pink (see Glossary). Since classical times painters have used madder lakes as part of their repertoire of reds. This is confirmed by modern analytical methods which have developed greatly in the past 40 years and especially during the last 15. The combination of limited equipment, funds and time available has resulted in the analysis of only a small proportion of the paintings in the great museums and galleries of the world. Madder pigments have however been analysed in over twenty paintings-some famous-from Europe (15th to 19th centuries), Russia (sixth to seventh centuries) and Tibet (15th to 19th centuries). The list in appendix 10.1 (page 325) must be incomplete but it shows how wide a range of artists used the lakes.