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Color: A Natural History of the Palette by…
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Color: A Natural History of the Palette (2002)

by Victoria Finlay

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,262226,267 (3.92)81
  1. 20
    Bright Earth: Art and the Invention of Color by Philip Ball (EveleenM)
    EveleenM: The style of this book is dryer and more technical than that of Finlay's book, but I strongly recommend it for those who want more detailed background about the science of colour and pigments.
  2. 10
    A Perfect Red by Amy Butler Greenfield (EveleenM)
    EveleenM: This is a similar book, dealing specifically with cochineal red rather than a range of colours.
  3. 10
    Black: The History of a Color by Michel Pastoureau (Tanglewood)
  4. 10
    The Lost Painting: The Quest for a Caravaggio Masterpiece by Jonathan Harr (fyrefly98)
    fyrefly98: Both fall into the category of "art history that's accessible to readers that know next-to-nothing about art history."
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» See also 81 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
I have to admit that I only got part way through the chapter on Ochre before I abandoned it. I love-love-love the idea, but couldn't mesh with the style of writing. ( )
  jlapac | Aug 14, 2013 |
In the past, I've read entire books on single colors, but putting so many colors together in a single volume allows them to really play off each other and build into a even more powerful history lesson. There is much information about the world within this book's covers and it made me appreciate the entire palette of colors in one book. It's all here: science, art, great artists, politics, history, health, and equally as powerful–business, business, business. ( )
  jphamilton | Jul 1, 2013 |
Chatty, warm, and full of interesting facts insouciantly intrepid travelogue.... delightful. ( )
  maribou | May 6, 2013 |
Be seduced by the history of pigments. Basically about the author's travels while seeking out the origins of ancient colours. I loved this and gladdened by the extensive notes and bibliography. ( )
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
Jean liked
  offblack | Dec 9, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Dedication
For my parents, Jeannie and Patrick, who first showed me the place where light dances
First words
It was a sunny afternoon that still sparkled after earlier rain when I first entered Chartres cathedral.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I had thought, when I set out on my travels -- when I first tumbled through that paintbos -- that I would somehow find, in the original stories of colors, something pure.
Quotations
There was once in China a secret color. It was so secret that it was said only royalty could own it.
(p. 245; chapter 7, "Green")
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
UK title: "Colour: Travels through the Paintbox;" US title: "Color: A Natural History of the Palette"
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812971426, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:20:56 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Part travelogue, part narrative history, this work unlocks the history of the colours of the rainbow, and reveals how paints came to be invented, discovered, traded and used. This book looks at how green was carried by yaks along the silk road, and how an entire nation was founded on the colour purple.… (more)

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