Entering the old City of Nürnberg

This is one of the more interesting entrances to the old city.  It curves inside the wall and is more like a tunnel.  You can see the curve in the middle photo.  The third photo shows the exit into the city, but it also gives a feel of how dark it would have been without lights.
Most of the old German cities have only a small section of their old wall remaining, due to the horrific bombing of World War II.  Some tore down remaining walls because the openings were too small to allow fire trucks into the old section, or they felt they needed to widen the streets for modern traffic.  I'm so glad that Nürnberg did not do this; being enclosed within a city wall is the only way you can get a feel for the size both of the city and the thickness and height of the wall.  It emphasizes the fact that everything is within walking distance, and helps give a feel to life "back then."
I was awed to think that both Albrecht Dürer and Maria Sylabilla Merian walked this town and through this entrance.

Artists’ Pigments

The sole reason I toured Albrecht Dürer's house in Nürnberg, Germany, was because I had read there was a display of his paint and where it came from.  Now Dürer lived 170 years before Maria Sybilla Merian did, but things were slow to change back in those days; I figured the source of paints would still be the same.  I had already spent two and a half years researching the old paint recipes to find a few which would be usable in the classroom during the study of art in the Middle Ages.  (I was bored with the time period and needed a way to "liven it up" 'cause it's a sure bet that if the teacher's already bored, the students will be triply bored, and the last thing we need is bored kids in the classroom.)

I was delighted to see that what I had read was confirmed here.

pigments used by artists at Dürer Museum

The blue pigment in the picture on top is azurite; the powdered form was kept on the half shell, it's source is the azurite rock behind.  The red pigment was new to me–it is called Drachenblut, or Dragon's Blood.  It comes from a red resin from the fruit of a palm tree found in Asia.

pigments used by artists

The center picture shows a pigment made from roots of the Rubia plant–also new to me–on the left.  On the right is a dish of cochineal bugs which, when crushed, make a purply-red pigment.  (And, yes, the dried bugs do stink if you get your nose too close to them!)

pigments used by artists

The bottom picture shows the beautiful bright red pigment derived from Cinnabar rocks from Spain.

One added note:  most rocks lose their color when crushed and cannot be used to make paint.  Those that do retain their color make very lovely paint, indeed.