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Bright Earth: Art and the Invention of Color (2001)

by Philip Ball

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4831151,602 (4.1)13
"Bright Earth provides a glimpse into a little-explored avenue in the history of art and science: the creation of pigments and dyes and their influence on painting, as well as on fashion, merchandising, and the textile and chemical industries. For as long as artists have turned their dreams into images, they have relied on technical knowledge to supply their materials. Today almost every shade imaginable is easily available in off-the-shelf tubes; every hue and tincture is manufactured and ready for immediate use by the painter. But up until the eighteenth century, most artists ground and mixed their own pigments, and by necessity had considerable skill as a practical chemists."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)
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» See also 13 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Brimful of facts, the book enhances our understanding of colors, color perception and production, drawing and history of art in general. It portrays interesting intertwinement of painting techniques development and 'hardware' available for artists at various points in history.

I found it impossible to read without an Internet access available around. Despite a number of illustrations the author constantly refers (and for good reasons) to a yet greater number of works. Thus it is more rewarding - both estethically and cognitively - to check those paintings to better understand the points made by this brilliant author.
  Den85 | Jan 3, 2024 |
A highly entertaining survey for the invention of artist pigments through out the human history. ( )
  Rex_Lui | Sep 12, 2019 |
Maybe it would have been better if Bayer just stuck to synthisizing indigo and making dyes ( )
  Baku-X | Jan 10, 2017 |
Maybe it would have been better if Bayer just stuck to synthisizing indigo and making dyes ( )
  BakuDreamer | Sep 7, 2013 |
-all those things, all related
-art is more than art ( )
  mykl-s | Aug 28, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philip Ballprimary authorall editionscalculated
Pietiläinen, KimmoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vitier, José AdriánTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Preface

For the past two years I have been learning to speak a new language.
ONE
THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
THE SCIENTIST IN THE STUDIO

"I believe that in the future, people will start painting pictures in one single colour, and nothing else but colour."
Quotations
One of the Impressionists' numerous bludgeon-witted critics suggested that they might have achieved their results by loading a gun with bright colours and firing it at the canvas.
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"Bright Earth provides a glimpse into a little-explored avenue in the history of art and science: the creation of pigments and dyes and their influence on painting, as well as on fashion, merchandising, and the textile and chemical industries. For as long as artists have turned their dreams into images, they have relied on technical knowledge to supply their materials. Today almost every shade imaginable is easily available in off-the-shelf tubes; every hue and tincture is manufactured and ready for immediate use by the painter. But up until the eighteenth century, most artists ground and mixed their own pigments, and by necessity had considerable skill as a practical chemists."--BOOK JACKET.

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