The study of color on the Mona Lisa

Pasciuti since the beginning of his career, has given particular importance to the role of color in his painting. He was deeply fascinated by it and eager to understand it every aspect of it.

Profoundly emblematic in this sense is an experiment he conducted towards the end from the 1970s: he took Leonardo's Mona Lisa as a reference and decided to reproduce it in faithful manner. This reproduction had important awards (for example a statement of appreciation by a well-known French critic of those years, Philippe Rheims).

But the truly extraordinary thing was not having made a replica of the Mona Lisa, but having it painted having only the 3 primary colors available on the palette: yellow, cyan and magenta! It was the practical demonstration that really every color present in nature can be obtained starting from the primary colors. Only a deep and absolute knowledge of color made all this possible.

The quaver and its harmonic processes

Over twenty years after having reproduced the Mona Lisa, the artist wanted to face a new challenge, to create what he called The quaver and its harmonic processes or even more simply The color artwork. Starting from scientific studies based on colour, according to which light appears to be the sum of a scale infinite number of color tones (the reading and then the study of Johannes Itten's The Theory of Color was illuminating for him) Pasciuti wanted to transfer in painting this concept, trying to represent exhaustively the chromatic harmonies in all its nuances.

The work of color is made up of "technical sheets" and 727 works, each representing a chromatic harmony on cardboard in a 25x30 cm format. Each chromatic harmony represented on a technical sheet is illustrated through its figurative painting. It is certainly a unique work, which embraces the entire chromatic disk, and it is emblematic of the role that "his majesty Color" (as he liked to define) had on the artist.

Below we see an example of a technical sheet and related harmonies, where the technical sheet with the color palettes used for the corresponding harmonies has been shown on the black card: