Crafting the whitest of whites

White has always been the most important colour in an artist’s palette.

Lead white is one of the oldest man-made pigments, with a history that dates back to the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians. Many of the world’s most famous European oil painters used lead white for mixing with various colours and for creating highlights. The beauty of lead white in these works of art inspired another use: as a pigment in make-up. Elizabeth I, Queen of England, was known to use the pigment. Unfortunately, the lead in pigment was not skin-friendly!

In modern times, lead has been replaced by new pigments: titanium and zinc white. Despite the change of the pigment over time, the world still appreciates the colour’s simple beauty, with white being the most popular paint choice around the globe.