The Colours of History


Do you know the source of saffron? Do you know its history? How it has developed? Maybe you know that mummy brown, the ground up bones of mummies, was available until the 1960’s when the source ‘dried up’! Did you know that Marie- Antoinette invented the colour puce? So much to read, learn, explore and wonder over!

The Colours of History is a superb book, jaw-droppingly fascinating, applicable and memorable!

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The Colours of History

How Colours Shaped the World

Clive Gifford, illustrated by Marc-Etienne Peintre

(QED Publishing)

Did you know that orange is named for the fruit? Then again, that before this fruit arrived in Britain, the colour was labelled yellow- red? Did you know that orange once appeared on the flag of  Orangemen– the Netherlands- originally? You will have to read The Colours of History to learn why it is no longer present!
What a fantastic book. In fact, its impact is immediate when you realise how it is arranged like a traditional colour wheel. Then again, individual histories of a hue within a colour are selected. The derivation, content, development and application of each is explained. Its users, the people involved in the colour, from painters to couturiers to tribes, are identified. We are told where we might sight this colour, and how it has evolved into a 21st application.
Reading The Colours of History caused me to exclaim constantly. There was so much I learned, such as the history of chrome yellow, or the distribution of cochineal! I love the way each double page focus colour is explored so thoroughly and prescriptively.
The Colours of History is a superb title, for readers, artists, scholars and independent booksellers!


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