Where in the World? Cochineal

December 27, 2021

Assistant Curator of Sculpture Giulio Dalvit joins Curator Aimee Ng to investigate the history of the vibrant red pigment in El Greco’s sixteenth-century painting of Saint Jerome. The pigment is derived from crushed cochineal insects, sourced from the Central and South American colonies then under the control of El Greco’s adopted Spain.

The Frick's temporary move to Frick Madison has prompted new ways of looking at our works of art. The reframing of the collection sheds light on the fact that the Frick's art, although predominantly European, is undeniably linked to the world beyond Europe. In this series, we're exploring some of these stories, asking "where in the world" we can find new connections to familiar objects.

St. Jerome

To learn more:

Davies, David, ed.  El Greco. Exh. cat. New York (Metropolitan Museum of Art) and London (National Gallery), 2003–4. 

Kientz, Guillaume, ed. Greco. Exh. cat. Paris (Grand Palais), 2019–20.

Padilla, Carmella and Barbara Anderson, eds. A Red Like No Other. How Cochineal Colored the World: An Epic Story of Art, Culture, Science, and Trade. Exh. cat. Santa Fe (Museum of International Folk Art), 2015.

Phipps, Elena. "Cochineal Red: The Art History of a Color.” Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 67, no. 3 (2010): 1–48

Salinas, Carlos Marichal. “Mexican Cochineal, Local Technologies  and the Rise of Global Trade from the  Sixteenth to the Nineteenth Centuries.” In Global History and New Polycentric Approaches, edited by Pérez García, Manuel and Lúcio De Sousa, 255–73. Singapore, 2017.




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