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The unforgettable, unknown history of colors and the vivid stories behind them in a beautiful multi-colored volume The Secret Lives of Color tells the unusual stories of seventy-five fascinating shades, dyes and hues. From blonde to ginger, the brown that changed the way battles were fought to the white that protected against the plague, Picasso's blue period to the charcoal on the cave walls at Lascaux, acid yellow to kelly green, and from scarlet women to imperial purple, these surprising stories run like a bright thread throughout history. In this book, Kassia St. Clair has turned her lifelong obsession with colors and where they come from (whether Van Gogh's chrome yellow sunflowers or punk's fluorescent pink) into a unique study of human civilization. Across fashion and politics, art and war, the secret lives of color tell the vivid story of our culture. “A mind-expanding tour of the world without leaving your paintbox. Every color has a story, and here are some of the most alluring, alarming, and thought-provoking.” —Simon Garfield, author of Just My Type
Why is green the colour of envy? Why is black 'evil'? Why is white pure? Why do we 'feel blue' or 'see red'? Why do colours have different meanings for different cultures? When we look at or talk about a colour in a particular setting, we are as likely to see its cultural or symbolic meaning as the shade itself. Why? Sometimes our grasp of a colour relates to the random way we define it. Light blue is called 'blue' but, over the last century or two, light red has become pink, whereas in Russia light blue and dark blue are separate colours. Does language play a part in our perception of colours? In most cases, the origins of why we view a colour in a certain way goes back hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Blue was not always a boy's colour; pink was not always a girl's. Indeed, less than one hundred years ago, in the West, it was the other way round. This book offers a lively, anecdotal treatment of the cultural mysteries of colour, and focuses on the way we respond to colours, the significance we give them - and how these things change over time and from place to place. It tells the story of how we have come to view the world through lenses passed down to us by art, science, politics, fashion, sport and, not least, prejudice.
Part travelogue, part narrative history, Colour unlocks the history of the colours of the rainbow, and reveals how paints came to be invented, discovered, traded and used. This remarkable book remembers a time when red paint was really the colour of blood, when orange was the poison pigment, blue as expensive as gold, and yellow made from the urine of cows force-fed with mangoes. It looks at how green was carried by yaks along the silk road, and how an entire nation was founded on the colour purple. Exciting, richly informative and always surprising, Colour lifts the lid on the historical palette and unearths an astonishing wealth of stories about the quest for colours, and our efforts to understand them.
The history of art is inseparable from the history of color. And what a fascinating story they tell together: one that brims with an all-star cast of characters, eye-opening details, and unexpected detours through the annals of human civilization and scientific discovery. Enter critically acclaimed writer and popular journalist Victoria Finlay, who here takes readers across the globe and over the centuries on an unforgettable tour through the brilliant history of color in art. Written for newcomers to the subject and aspiring young artists alike, Finlay’s quest to uncover the origins and science of color will beguile readers of all ages with its warm and conversational style. Her rich narrative is illustrated in full color throughout with 166 major works of art—most from the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum. Readers of this book will revel in a treasure trove of fun-filled facts and anecdotes. Were it not for Cleopatra, for instance, purple might not have become the royal color of the Western world. Without Napoleon, the black graphite pencil might never have found its way into the hands of Cézanne. Without mango-eating cows, the sunsets of Turner might have lost their shimmering glow. And were it not for the pigment cobalt blue, the halls of museums worldwide might still be filled with forged Vermeers. Red ocher, green earth, Indian yellow, lead white—no pigment from the artist’s broad and diverse palette escapes Finlay’s shrewd eye in this breathtaking exploration.
Unlock the secrets of color - learn how and why it has been used in art over the centuries This vibrant and compelling book uses 240 artworks as case studies to tell the story of ten individual colors or color groups. It explores the history and meaning of each color in art, highlighting fascinating tales of discovery and artistic passion, and offering easily accessible explanations of the science and theory behind specific colors. From Isaac Newton's optics to impressionist theory, from the dynamics of Josef Albers to the contemporary metaphysics of Olafur Eliasson, this book shows how color paints our world.
Summer is the best season of all. Dive into this collection of poetic and mesmerizing images curated by photographer Joanne Dugan. Quotes from writers and luminaries intermingle with interpretive vignettes that instantly evoke the perfect summer moment. Enjoy the adventure and stillness of your favorite season all year round withSummertime.
Celebrates the way in which color impacts all aspects of life, exploring such topics as color's physics and chemistry, how language influences the colors people see, and misconceptions about color.

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