The Secret Lives of Color (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews


This thought-provoking read investigates color: its histories, its uses, and its impacts on human civilization. Discover the rich stories behind seventy-five hues from the rare chrome yellow of Van Gogh’s sunflower paintings to whitewash, which was thought to protect against the plague. Excellent for history and art buffs alike. --Anton

— From Visual & Performing Arts

Description


The unforgettable, unknown history of colors and the vivid stories behind them in a beautiful multi-colored volume

"Beautifully written . . . Full of anecdotes and fascinating research, this elegant compendium has all the answers." --NPR, Best Books of 2017

The Secret Lives of Color tells the unusual stories of seventy-five fascinating shades, dyes and hues. From blonde to ginger, the brown that changed the way battles were fought to the white that protected against the plague, Picasso's blue period to the charcoal on the cave walls at Lascaux, acid yellow to kelly green, and from scarlet women to imperial purple, these surprising stories run like a bright thread throughout history.

In this book, Kassia St. Clair has turned her lifelong obsession with colors and where they come from (whether Van Gogh's chrome yellow sunflowers or punk's fluorescent pink) into a unique study of human civilization. Across fashion and politics, art and war, the secret lives of color tell the vivid story of our culture.

"This passionate and majestic compedium will leave you bathed in the gorgeous optics of light." --Elle

About the Author


Kassia St. Clair is a freelance journalist and author based in London. She graduated from Bristol University with a first-class honors degree in history in 2007 and went on to do a master's degree at Oxford. There she wrote her dissertation on women's masquerade costumes during the eighteenth century and graduated with distinction. She has since written about design and culture for publications including The Economist, House & Garden, Quartz, and the New Statesman. She has had a column about color in Elle Decoration since 2013 and is a former assistant books and arts editor for The Economist.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780143131144
ISBN-10: 0143131141
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: October 24th, 2017
Pages: 320
Language: English