blue: the history of a color
. I feel he lost the thread of his book...or changed it towards the end and got a little more caught up in specific points in history or a specific artist. These are the questions that M. Pastoureau answers in this sumptuously illustrated history. Beijing 100016, P.R. For more than a decade, Neil deGrasse Tyson, the world-renowned astrophysicist and host of the popular radio and Emmy-nominated... To see what your friends thought of this book, Argh! ca. (CC0 1.0)). Announcing the launch of the Princeton University Press Ideas Podcast. The rise of blue's prevalence in heraldry, paintings, and cloth, from the 11th century, was a profound shift. So fascinating! Lavishly illustrated. Start by marking “Blue: The History of a Color” as Want to Read: Error rating book. . No pun intended. What was most surprising was that blue was ignored as a color for thousands of years. With sure-footed scholarship, trenchant opinions, Michel Pastoureau goes beyond a perfunctory visit: he makes us realize the importance of this material and avoids the errors of a number of other historians. Who would have thought that the color blue was not only hated but not named, or tolerated until the 14th century. Unlikely as it seems, this coffee table book was a fascinating look at how blue came to be the most popular color among artists and in society, and taught me for the first time that there were sumptuary laws in various nations at various times designed to restrict the type and color of clothing commoners could wear so they didn't compete with the raiment of royalty. Over time, the shade of blue that Mary wore became what is now known as "navy blue." The archetypal color of darkness and death, black was associated in the early Christian period with hell and the devil but also with monastic virtue. It is rarely found in bronze age art. In the beginning was black, Michel Pastoureau tells us. Fun fact: In 2006, scientists discovered that Egyptian blue glows under fluorescent lights, indicating that the pigment emits infrared radiation. Pastoureau was born in Paris on 17 June 1947. The big story is that all cultures had a 3 color system consisting of white, black, and red. Painters—such as J. M. W. Turner, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Vincent Van Gogh—started using the new pigment as an alternative to expensive ultramarine. . Fascinating and very approachable for a lay audience. It was renamed ultramarine—in Latin: ultramarinus, meaning “beyond the sea”—when the pigment was imported into Europe by Italian traders during the 14th and 15th centuries. Blue was reborn as a royal color in the twelfth century and functioned as a formidable political and military force through the French Revolution. The ancients hardly used it or talked about it, exce. Modern navies have since darkened the color of their uniforms to almost black in an attempt to avoid fading. “Summer's Day” by Berthe Morisot, 1879. First New Blue Pigment in Over 200 Years is Being Made into a Crayon, 3,500-Year-Old Unfinished Obelisk Reveals Incredible Engineering of Ancient Egypt, The Evolution of Picasso’s Painting Style and What Each Artistic Choice Represents, Everything You Need to Know About Hokusai, the Painter of ‘The Great Wave’. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published "—Brian Bouldrey, Chicago Tribune, "Blue . As people began to associate blue with the Virgin Mary, the color became a powerful element in church decoration and symbolism. "—Jori Finkel and Jonathon S. Keats, 41 William Street This book is as beautiful as the previous one. The book is full of exquisite color pictures and historical descriptions. a rich volume, intelligently illustrated. Egyptian Juglet, ca. I just realized I had never posted this. . I think the author got a little sidetracked talking about France and the French Revolution, but he is French so... Did you know blue has been the favourite colour of Westerners over the last couple of centuries? In 2009, a new shade of blue was accidentally discovered by Professor Mas Subramanian and his then graduate student Andrew E. Smith at Oregon State University. This was an interesting book, a new way of looking at a color and it's social development. . A lot of it is about the development of favored/prominent colors in general, not just blue, but that makes sense since this was his first "history." The author does a fine job illustrating the second claim throughout the book, showing how attitudes towards colors change over time with changes in religious belief and social practices. While this book is full of pictures, it is very imformative. Overall I enjoyed this book, though I do have a fascination for the development of color and the way we use and manufacture it so it would have to be rather bad for me to at least not be interested in it. The use of indigo for dyeing textiles was most popular in England, and was used to dye clothing worn by men and women of all social backgrounds. Read on to learn more about the color's fascinating history. It was fascinating to read about the lack of mention in early records of the color we know as blue. In particular, his explanations of how earlier cultures thought about/related to color and incorporated it in to their philosophical and material cultures were eye opening and foreign and really interesting. The ancient Greeks scorned it as ugly and barbaric, but most Americans and Europeans now cite it as their favorite color. Unlike the rarity of lapis lazuli, the arrival of a new blue dye called “indigo” came from a excessively grown crop—called Indigofera tinctoria—that was produced across the world. (CC0 1.0)). We’d love your help. The color blue is associated with two of Earth’s greatest natural features: the sky and the ocean. If you like history (yes) and if you love blue (yes), then this book should be on your shelves. Fun fact: Klein once said “blue has no dimensions. I really enjoyed reading about how the color blue changed through the ages. "—Le Monde, ". Originally composed of cobalt magnesium stannate, the sky-colored cerulean blue was perfected by Andreas Höpfner in Germany in 1805 by roasting cobalt and tin oxides. But the first, audacious claim has to be false. Many medieval artists preferred to depict water as green rather than blue. Who would have thought that the color blue was not only hated but not named, or tolerated until the 14th century. "—William Gass, Los Angeles Times Book Review, "Blue is both prettily produced and whimsically enjoyable. A lot of fascinating information linking color to material sciences, perception, religion, social and economic structures. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. A lot of it is about the development of favored/prominent colors in general, not just blue, but that makes sense since this was his first "history." How-- and why-- did various laws try to prohibit the creation of certain colors? (Photo: Met Museum, Rogers Fund and Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1922. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons (CC0 1.0)), Pablo Picasso used the Prussian blue pigment exclusively during his Blue Period, and Japanese woodblock artist Katsushika Hokusai used it to create his iconic The Great Wave off Kanagawa, as well as other prints in his Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji series. Red, white and black were the only recognized colors for ce. Directions, Princeton Asia (Beijing) Consulting Co., Ltd. His section on Vermeer is an example. As blue triumphed in the modern era, new shades were created and blue became the color of romance and the blues. The history of ultramarine began around 6,000 years ago when the vibrant, semi-precious gemstone it was made from—lapis lazuli—began to be imported by the Egyptians from the mountains of Afghanistan. Red, white and black were the only recognized colors for centuries. I wrote a 300 word review for this book and it was eaten by the GR popup :(. Its deep, royal blue quality meant that was highly sought after among artists living in Medieval Europe. It wasn't until the last 700 years that blue because valued; the rise of New World indigo helped a lot too. This was especially the case in China, where it was used in distinctive blue and white patterned porcelain. Formally known as marine blue, the darkest shade of blue—also known as navy blue—was adopted as the official color for British Royal Navy uniforms, and was worn by officers and sailors from 1748. It is heavy on French history -- I would have happily traded several pages about the French flag for more on other topics -- but overall it's a fascinating study, well-translated (so far as I can tell) and beautifully illustrated. The pictures, while an impressive survey of paintings, somehow don't make his points come alive. This hue is associated with the uniforms of cadets in the space navy; a fictional military service armed with the task of exploring outer space. October 1st 2001 Finally, Pastoureau follows blue into contemporary times, when military clothing gave way to the everyday uniform of blue jeans and blue became the universal and unifying color of the Earth as seen from space.Beautifully illustrated, Blue tells the intriguing story of our favorite color and the cultures that have hated it, loved it, and made it essential to some of our greatest works of art. Check out the exclusive rewards, here. Directions, 6 Oxford Street, Woodstock Natural indigo was replaced in 1880, when synthetic indigo was developed. YInMn Blue. Welcome back. Also known as “true blue,” lapis lazuli first appeared as a pigment in the 6th century and was used in Buddhist paintings in Bamiyan, Afghanistan. The author begins this history with audacious claims about the irrelevance (p.10) of human biology to the "process of ascribing meaning to color", insisting instead that color is a "social phenomenon". As our patron, you’ll become a member and join us in our effort to support the arts. Prior to that time it was thought to be a "hot" color. plates, all illustrating the meaning and role of the color blue in Western history. "—Livres, "Pastoureau's text moves us through one fascinating area of activity after another. I really liked what I read, but I was unable to finish the book before the due date. Fun fact: YInMn blue was recently added to the Crayola crayon collection. Blue was helped along by being unregulated... a lack o. This method, called “bio-indigo,” will likely play a big part in manufacturing environmentally friendly denim in the future. Today, most people prefer blue to any other color. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Why did the color blue become associated with the Virgin? In fact, Diesbach was working on creating a new red, however, one of his materials—potash—had come into contact with animal blood. As a result, early humans with no concept of the color blue simply had no words to describe it. I'm still not sure how or when blue went from being a unconsidered, un-respected color to being the most popular color in the Western world, but perhaps that is one of the things that can never be fully known considering social changes weren't really documented deliberately in the past but have to be inferred by what is considered important enough to put down in writing of some sort.