On a journey that takes her from Afghanistan to the Australian outback, to ancient caves in China and the saffron harvest in Spain, Victoria Finlay gives an account of the history of colour. Part travelogue, part narrative history, this study unlocks the history of the colours of the rainbow and reveals how paints came to be invented, discovered, traded and used. It remembers a time when red paint really was 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. "Colour" lifts the lid on the historical palette and unearths a wealth of stories about the quest for colours and our efforts to understand them.
About this Author
Victoria Finlay worked as a journalist in Hong Kong for eleven years, five of which were spent as arts editor for the South China Morning Post. Colour was her first book; since then she has also written Jewels: A Secret History, A Brilliant History of Color in Art, and Fabric: The Hidden History of the Material World. She studied social anthropology and as well as travelling around the world in search of stories about her subjects, from pigments to jewels to art to fabric, has also worked for an international environment charity. She lives near Bath.
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