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De Bonampak al Templo Mayor by Constantino Reyes-Valerio

The book De Bonampak al Templo Mayor has been considered as a Fundamental Book (by an ICCROM review), The most complete book on "MAYA BLUE" pigment of the Bonampak and Cacaxtla murals (ARCHAEOLOGY OF CHIAPAS) and is widely seen as the first publication where the secret of the mysterious Maya Blue Pigment was revealed.

The interest on the pigment arose as the analysis of the paintings of the native Juan Gersón, (1562 in the convent of Tecamachalco, Puebla), in which a turquoise-blue colour abounds. In 1964 we published a book about Gersón works and we performed an X-Ray diffraction analysis at the laboratories of the Federal Commission of Electricity (CFE), in which it was reported the blue color as a non-identifiable an amorphous dust.

Months after the book was published, I learned that the mysterious pigment was called "Maya Blue" or Azul Maya", and several American researchers were already interested by the pigment. At that time I did not have the opportunity to read their publications. The interest by this substance remained latent during long time, and then, several years later, while studying the Native Indians who painted the Colonial Convents the pigment appeared again.

Today, after years of research, both chemical and historical, and a thorough revision of most of the scientific literature and historic documents, a solution to the riddle of the elusive Maya Blue pigment is presented in this book. Also I clarify other aspects not less important for all to those who are interested in the life and the history of the pre-Hispanic natives, the creators of an intensely attractive color and with special properties that no other pigment posses.

The historical arguments are irrefutable. I clarify the origin and use of clays that helped produce, perhaps by chance, Maya Blue a thousand two hundred years ago, in the region of Chiapas or the Guatemalan Petn. The technology to produce it was inherited by other cultures until the XVI century when it was used in several Convents, and then later, its use disappeared.

Maya Blue Pigment

(english version : Conference at the University of Essex )
Portada Libro Azul Maya
Pagina del Pigmento Azul Maya por Constantino Reyes-Valerio