Colour and Culture: Practice and Meaning from Antiquity to Abstraction

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9780500278185: Colour and Culture: Practice and Meaning from Antiquity to Abstraction
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Colour is fundamental to life and art: yet so diverse is it that it has hardly ever been studied in a comprehensive way. Is it above all a radiant visual stimulus, an intangible function of light, or a material substance to be moulded and arrayed? What does the language of colour tell us? Where does one colour begin and another end? John Gage considers every conceivable aspect of the subject in a groundbreaking analysis of colour in Western culture from the ancient Greeks until the late twentieth century. He describes the first theories of colour, articulated by philosophers from Democritus to Aristotle, and subsequent attempts by the Romans and their Renaissance disciples to organize it systematically or endow it with symbolic power. He unfolds its religious significance and its use in heraldry. He explores the experimental analysis of the spectrum undertaken by Newton and continued in the nineteenth century by artists such as Seurat, traces the influence of Goethe's colour theory, and considers the extraordinary theories and practices that attemped to unite colour and music, or make colour into an entirely abstract language of its own. The twentieth century is often called the period when colour has finally come into its own. This is the first-ever attempt to examine seriously what this claim means, and to suggest answers to many perennial questions about the role of colour in Western art and thought. It will be of consuming interest to artists, historians of art and culture, psychologists, linguists, and anyone fascinated by this most inescapable and evocative element of our perceptions.

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Review:

'A good many of it chapters are likely to remain the standard treatment of their respective topics for years to come' - Sir Ernst Gombrich 'An altogether outstanding and seminal book' - The Tablet 'No one interested in painting can afford not to study it' - London Review of Books 'In its wonderfully lucid command of detail, as well as in many other ways, this book is exemplary.' - Richard Wollheim in The Times Literary Supplement

Synopsis:

Unfamiliar texts from all periods are featured, from the treatise that inspired Van Gogh to physicians' scales of hair and urine colours, and fresh light is thrown on the hidden meanings of many familiar masterpieces. The 20th century is often called the period when colour has finally come into its own. This is an attempt to examine what this claim means, and to suggest answers to many perennial questions about the role of colour.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780500236543: Colour and Culture: Practice and Meaning from Antiquity to Abstraction

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ISBN 10:  0500236542 ISBN 13:  9780500236543
Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd, 1993
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9780500600283: Colour and Culture: Practice and Meaning from Antiquity to Abstraction (60th Anniversary Edition No 4)

Thames..., 2009
Softcover

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Book Description Thames & Hudson Ltd, United Kingdom, 1995. Paperback. Condition: New. New ed. Language: English. Brand new Book. Colour is fundamental to life and art: yet so diverse is it that it has hardly ever been studied in a comprehensive way. Is it above all a radiant visual stimulus, an intangible function of light, or a material substance to be moulded and arrayed? What does the language of colour tell us? Where does one colour begin and another end? John Gage considers every conceivable aspect of the subject in a groundbreaking analysis of colour in Western culture from the ancient Greeks until the late twentieth century. He describes the first theories of colour, articulated by philosophers from Democritus to Aristotle, and subsequent attempts by the Romans and their Renaissance disciples to organize it systematically or endow it with symbolic power. He unfolds its religious significance and its use in heraldry. He explores the experimental analysis of the spectrum undertaken by Newton and continued in the nineteenth century by artists such as Seurat, traces the influence of Goethe's colour theory, and considers the extraordinary theories and practices that attemped to unite colour and music, or make colour into an entirely abstract language of its own. The twentieth century is often called the period when colour has finally come into its own. This is the first-ever attempt to examine seriously what this claim means, and to suggest answers to many perennial questions about the role of colour in Western art and thought. It will be of consuming interest to artists, historians of art and culture, psychologists, linguists, and anyone fascinated by this most inescapable and evocative element of our perceptions. Seller Inventory # HUK9780500278185

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Book Description Thames & Hudson Ltd, United Kingdom, 1995. Paperback. Condition: New. New ed. Language: English. Brand new Book. Colour is fundamental to life and art: yet so diverse is it that it has hardly ever been studied in a comprehensive way. Is it above all a radiant visual stimulus, an intangible function of light, or a material substance to be moulded and arrayed? What does the language of colour tell us? Where does one colour begin and another end? John Gage considers every conceivable aspect of the subject in a groundbreaking analysis of colour in Western culture from the ancient Greeks until the late twentieth century. He describes the first theories of colour, articulated by philosophers from Democritus to Aristotle, and subsequent attempts by the Romans and their Renaissance disciples to organize it systematically or endow it with symbolic power. He unfolds its religious significance and its use in heraldry. He explores the experimental analysis of the spectrum undertaken by Newton and continued in the nineteenth century by artists such as Seurat, traces the influence of Goethe's colour theory, and considers the extraordinary theories and practices that attemped to unite colour and music, or make colour into an entirely abstract language of its own. The twentieth century is often called the period when colour has finally come into its own. This is the first-ever attempt to examine seriously what this claim means, and to suggest answers to many perennial questions about the role of colour in Western art and thought. It will be of consuming interest to artists, historians of art and culture, psychologists, linguists, and anyone fascinated by this most inescapable and evocative element of our perceptions. Seller Inventory # HUK9780500278185

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Book Description Thames & Hudson Ltd, 1995. Condition: New. 1995. New ed. Paperback. Revised and updated, this work considers every aspect of the subject in an analysis of colour in Western culture. It describes the first theories of colour, articulated by philosophers from Democritus to Aristotle, as well as looking at its religious significance, and the role of colour today. Num Pages: 336 pages, 223 illustrations, 120 in colour. BIC Classification: ABA. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational; (U) Tertiary Education (US: College). Dimension: 278 x 250 x 29. Weight in Grams: 2066. . . . . . Seller Inventory # V9780500278185

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