The artists of Lascaux used manganese ores and charcoal to mix their black pigments. Those of the Renaissance used manganese oxide to enrich the brown in their umbers. Manganese blue went extinct in the twentieth century. The twentieth and twenty-first centuries had a lot of artists, most of them bad but all of them wanting the very finest paints. By the time humanity planted its first colonies in deep space, all the best natural pigments had been depleted from the surface of the Earth.
via [ Sore Eyes ]