Insect-derived dyestuff has been exploited historically worldwide to produce richly-dyed textiles. By utilizing dyed cloth to precipitate out the dyestuff, red lake pigments became a vital resource for Italian painters of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. The use of modern technologies has allowed for the identification and documentation of the use of distinct red lake pigments in paintings created during these eras.1 The aim of this work is to distinguish between the various applications of different types of insect-derived red lake pigments within a historical context.
1. Kirby, Jo; Spring, Marika; Higgitt, Catherine. “The Technology of Red Lake Pigment Manufacture: Study of the Dyestuff Substrate.” National Gallery Technical Bulletin, vol. 26, (2005), pp. 71-87.