19 April 18: Vert de gris girl power

I don’t know about you but the colour vert de gris always makes me think of Lady Liberty. Coincidentally, whilst looking into the history of the colour (which means ‘green of Greece’), I read that the production of vert de gris pigment was, historically, a woman’s job (possibly because it was known to be a poisonous occupation thus avoided by men who were permitted by guilds to have safer jobs). Mothers taught it to daughters in what became a thriving matriarchal industry, based in Montpelier in France. Oh, you may be glad to know that 19th century scientists discovered that many of these women were as fit as fiddles: they put it down to the protective nature of fumes from the wine used to turn the copper green. Don’t you just love a colour story with a happy girl power ending?

Martha, The Colour File x 

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