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parsed(2024-02-06) - pubdate: 02/24
pub date: 1707199200
today: 1721797200, pubdate > today = false

nyp: 0;

Color Charts

A History

February 6, 2024 | Hardcover
ISBN: 9780691255170
Reader Reward Price: $69.30 info
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A beautifully illustrated history of the many inventive, poetic, and alluring ways in which color swatches have been selected and staged

The need to categorize and communicate color has mobilized practitioners and scholars for centuries. Color Charts describes the many different methods and ingenious devices developed since the fifteenth century by doctors, naturalists, dyers, and painters to catalog fragments of colors. With the advent of industrial society, manufacturers and merchants developed some of the most beautiful and varied tools ever designed to present all the available colors. Thanks to them, society has discovered the abundance of color embodied in a plethora of materials: cuts of fabric, leather, paper, and rubber; slats of wood and linoleum; delicate skeins of silk; careful deposits of paint and pastels; fragments of lipstick; and arrangements of flower petals. These samples shape a visual culture and a chromatic vocabulary and instill a deep desire for color.

Anne Varichon traces the emergence of modern color charts from a set of processes developed over the centuries in various contexts. She presents illuminating examples that bring this remarkable story to life, from ancient writings revealing attention to precise shade to contemporary designers' color charts, dyers' notebooks, and Werner's famous color nomenclature. Varichon argues that color charts have linked generations of artists, artisans, scientists, industrialists, and merchants, and have played an essential and enduring role in the way societies think about color.

Drawing on nearly two hundred documents from public and private collections, almost all of them previously unpublished, this wonderfully illustrated book shows how the color chart, in its many distinct forms and expressions, is a practical tool that has transcended its original purpose to become an educational aid and subject of contemplation worthy of being studied and admired.

About this Author

Anne Varichon is an anthropologist specializing in material cultures and ideas about color. She is the author of Colors: What They Mean and How to Make Them.

ISBN: 9780691255170
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 284
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Published: 2024-02-06


"One of the most richly illustrated, beautifully designed and intelligently researched books of 2024."---Steven Heller, Print Magazine

"In Color Charts: A History, French author Anne Varichon reveals the inventive and poetic ways in which colour has been collectively understood, telling the story of the transformation from pigment makers and craftworkers, dependent on their charts, to the age of synthetic colour, through which the 'western world began to become colourful, and finally, colourful for everyone'."---Alexander James, Financial Times

"This radiantly beautiful book takes us on a journey through the methods and devices used in Western cultures to catalogue colours developed since the 15th century by doctors, naturalists, dyers and painters."---Jad Adams, The Art Newspaper

"There is a riot of colour on almost every page, in a stunning array that illuminates the eye."---Elizabeth Fitzherbert, The Lady

"The tools we use to select shades of wall paint trace their origins to the ingenuity of 15th-century merchants and, ultimately, ancient texts describing hues with the utmost precision. Varichon has compiled a host of unpublished documents to recount this vivid history."

"An incredible journey through the different devices that have been developed since the 15th century to help us organize and catalog color. . . . A necessity for any color lover."---Jessica Stewart, My Modern Met

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