Colour: Travels Through the Paintbox Hardcover – 19 Sep 2002
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Packed with stories, anecdotes and adventures. A full rainbow ... as vivid as the colours themselves (Express)
You get your money's worth and change to spare ... Both picaresque and picturesque, it's a rich read. (Evening Standard)
This is a rare and wonderful book - a model of erudition and charm, the
writing elegant and precise, and with at least one new and fascinating
revelation on every single page. I could not be more enthusiastic.
It's pure pleasure to join this gutsy arts reporter-cum-scholar on her quest for historical pigments and dyes around the world ... Even drab (technically the tone between olive and puce) seems less so when Finlay examines it (Independent)
It's hard to criticise her spirit of cultural exploration and easy to share her intelligent enthusiasm . . .Packed with pertinent trivia . . . informative and fun (South China Morning Post)
Full of forgotten facts and beguiling anecdotes . . . it would be hard to confront a painting ever again without seeing in it a kind of coded map of the world (Telegraph)
Packed with facts, fables and anecdotes ... Finlay's detailed and brilliantly researched account makes for a fascinating read (Australian Interior Trends)
Victoria Finlay has unlocked the history of colour in this trawl through some little-known history (Courier Mail ( Australia))
An irresistible cornucopia ...Her travels are Marco Polish; her research vast but lightly worn. The whole book is an infectious delight. (RTE Guide)
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 extraordinary, and compelling account of the history of colour.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
It is really a collection of stories, linked by the quest for colour. It is a rich and rewarding read, and one that is both absorbing. Yet as the stories of the individual colours and pigments are revealed and are amazingly potent, the book can also be taken in bite sized chunks - ideal for those, who like me, do much of their reading while commuting.
So, if you love William Dalrymple, are an art student, or just want to find out how lucky we are to live in a multi-coloured world, I stongly recommend this book.
She takes us from the "non-colours" of black & white and through the spectrum of the rainbow, the seven colours of which - Mr Roy G Biv - were defined by Isaac Newton. I was surprised to find that Newton's definition was actually his own interpretation of what he decided should be 7 shades, ie had he wished, he could have insisted on turquoise (between green & blue) instead of indigo (between blue & purple).
I was amazed to find out that red comes from a cochineal bug which feeds on the prickly pear cactus, green from copper dipped in vinegar, and purple from the tears of a sea-snail.
And then there are there are the fascinating bits of trivia. Perhaps Napolean died not from cancer but from a reaction between arsenic and the damp in the green in his wallpaper.
There are many many more bits like this, but I won't spoil it for other readers. I picked up this book on spec, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This review is based solely on first impressions. I am a very visual person and was really looking forward to reading this book. As usually I turned to the photographs first. Read morePublished 1 month ago by B. Burns
Loved this book. She writes beautifully, is down to earth, humorous, takes you right along with her on her journey. The book is full of information in an easily digestible form. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Abbybarb
The author accompanies us we travel through the colours, astonishing with history of colour and its production. This book stays with the reader many years after the book is read .Published 5 months ago by Linda Docherty
A colourful work which I'm thoroughly enjoying. It's a fascinating story with many beautiful examples into Walton.Published 9 months ago by Aaron J. Quigley
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