Mise en abîme

Prussian blue nano-cubes

Prussian blue and cyanotype

It was during my research at the University of Bristol (1999- 2000) that a first mise en abîme was born. A new approach to light-assisted crystal synthesis of the pigment “Prussian Blue” allowed for better control of crystal growth. The study with a transmission electron microscope reveals a spontaneous assembly of these cubes of about twenty nanometres in size. These scientific results, published in the journal Angewandte Chemie, are quoted by Mike Ware in his open access treatise on cyanotyping, “Cyanomicon“.

Prussian Blue is also known to the world of alternative photography through the so-called “cyanotype” technique. The image above represents this assembly of nanocrystals. The blue pigment used to print the image is the same one that this image illustrates.