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Color: A Natural History of the Palette

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Color: A Natural History of the Palette Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this vivid and captivating journey through the colors of an artist’s palette, Victoria Finlay takes us on an enthralling adventure around the world and through the ages, illuminating how the colors we choose to value have determined the history of culture itself.

How did the most precious color blue travel all the way from remote lapis mines in Afghanistan to Michelangelo’s brush? What is the connection between brown paint and ancient Egyptian mummies? Why did Robin Hood wear Lincoln green? In Color, Finlay explores the physical materials that color our world, such as precious minerals and insect blood, as well as the social and political meanings that color has carried through time.

Roman emperors used to wear togas dyed with a purple color that was made from an odorous Lebanese shellfish–which probably meant their scent preceded them. In the eighteenth century, black dye was called logwood and grew along the Spanish Main. Some of the first indigo plantations were started in America, amazingly enough, by a seventeen-year-old girl named Eliza. And the popular van Gogh painting White Roses at Washington’s National Gallery had to be renamed after a researcher discovered that the flowers were originally done in a pink paint that had faded nearly a century ago. Color is full of extraordinary people, events, and anecdotes–painted all the more dazzling by Finlay’s engaging style.

Embark upon a thrilling adventure with this intrepid journalist as she travels on a donkey along ancient silk trade routes; with the Phoenicians sailing the Mediterranean in search of a special purple shell that garners wealth, sustenance, and prestige; with modern Chilean farmers breeding and bleeding insects for their viscous red blood. The colors that craft our world have never looked so bright.

From the Hardcover edition.

Synopsis:

Examining the physical materials that color the world, a freelance journalist explores the social, political, and cultural implications of color throughout history. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.

Synopsis:

Discover the tantalizing true stories behind your favorite colors.

For example: Cleopatra used saffron—a source of the color yellow—for seduction. Extracted from an Afghan mine, the blue “ultramarine” paint used by Michelangelo was so expensive he couldn’t afford to buy it himself. Since ancient times, carmine red—still found in lipsticks and Cherry Coke today—has come from the blood of insects.

Table of Contents

Preface : The beginning of the rainbow — Introduction : The paintbox : Ochre ; Black and brown ; White ; Red ; Orange ; Yellow ; Green ; Blue ; Indigo ; Violet — Epilogue : The end of the rainbow.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307430830
Subtitle:
A Natural History of the Palette
Publisher:
Random House Trade Paperbacks
Author:
Finlay, Victoria
Author:
Victoria Finlay
Subject:
History : General
Subject:
General
Subject:
General History
Subject:
Art-Color Theory
Subject:
Art-Color and Perspective
Subject:
Art-History and Criticism
Subject:
Art-Theory and Criticism
Subject:
World History-General
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20031230
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
464

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Color Theory
Arts and Entertainment » Art » General
Arts and Entertainment » Art » History and Criticism
History and Social Science » World History » General

Color: A Natural History of the Palette
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Product details 464 pages Random House Publishing Group - English 9780307430830 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Examining the physical materials that color the world, a freelance journalist explores the social, political, and cultural implications of color throughout history. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.
"Synopsis" by , Discover the tantalizing true stories behind your favorite colors.

For example: Cleopatra used saffron—a source of the color yellow—for seduction. Extracted from an Afghan mine, the blue “ultramarine” paint used by Michelangelo was so expensive he couldn’t afford to buy it himself. Since ancient times, carmine red—still found in lipsticks and Cherry Coke today—has come from the blood of insects.

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