Bright Earth: Art and the Invention of Color

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University of Chicago Press, Apr 15, 2003 - Art - 382 pages
6 Reviews
From Egyptian wall paintings to the Venetian Renaissance, impressionism to digital images, Philip Ball tells the fascinating story of how art, chemistry, and technology have interacted throughout the ages to render the gorgeous hues we admire on our walls and in our museums.

Finalist for the 2002 National Book Critics Circle Award.
 

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User Review  - mmotles - LibraryThing

I enjoyed this book very much, as it explains in a clear and chronological way the development of pigments, dyes and other materials. It shows the importance of industry in its continuous search for ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Pferdina - LibraryThing

Tracing the history of painting (primarily European) by describing advances in technology and chemistry, this book is excellent. It was relatively easy to read and has many color reproductions to ... Read full review

Contents

THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER The Scientist in the Studio
3
PLUCKING THE RAINBOW The Physics and Chemistry of Color
24
THE FORGE OF VULCAN Color Technology in Antiquity
50
SECRET RECIPES Alchemys Artistic Legacy
72
MASTERS OF LIGHT AND SHADOW The Glory of the Renaissance
103
OLD GOLD The Revival of an Austere Palette
128
THE PRISMATIC METALS Synthetic Pigments and the Dawn of Color Chemistry
147
THE REIGN OF LIGHT Impressionisms Bright Impact
168
SHADES OF MIDNIGHT The Problem of Blue
231
TIME AS PAINTER The EverChanging Canvas
250
CAPTURING COLOR How Art Appears in Reproduction
269
MIND OVER MATTER Color as Form in Modernism
301
ART FOR ARTS SAKE New Materials New Horizons
316
Notes
339
Bibliography
355
Index
361

A PASSION FOR PURPLE Dyes and the Industrialization of Color
197

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About the author (2003)

Philip Ball majored in chemistry at the University of Oxford and received a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Bristol. He is a writer and consulting editor for Nature and a regular contributor to the scientific and popular press, including New Scientist and the New York Times. Ball is the author of six other books, including The Self-Made Tapestry: Pattern Formation in Nature and Life's Matrix: A Biography of Water.

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