Chromatopia: An Illustrated History of Color

$22.46 Member Price

By David Coles

This origin story of history’s most vivid color pigments is now in paperback and perfect for artists, history buffs, science lovers, and design fanatics.

Did you know that the Egyptians created the first synthetic color and used it to create the famous blue crown of Queen Nefertiti? Or that the noblest purple comes from a predatory sea snail? The royal color, used in the Roman Empire, resulted in hundreds of thousands of snails being sacrificed to produce a single ounce of dye. Throughout history, pigments have been made from deadly metals, poisonous minerals, urine, cow dung, and even crushed insects. From grinding down beetles and burning animal bones to alchemy and pure luck, Chromatopia reveals the origin stories behind over fifty of history’s most vivid color pigments.

Featuring informative and detailed color histories, a section on working with monochromatic color, and “recipes” for paint-making, Chromatopia provides color enthusiasts with an eclectic story of how synthetic colors came to be.

Spanning from the ancient world to modern leaps in technology, and vibrantly illustrated throughout, this book will add a little chroma to anyone’s understanding of the history of colors.

Paperback, 240 pages, 2021.

6.6 x 8.7 in.

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