Anne Varichon, Colors: What They Mean and How to Make Them

Ok, the US (mis-) spelling of the title is annoying for purists but content is king with any book. Published by Abrams, this rich and fascinating book follows on from the now out-of-print (in the UK) Primary Colors by Alexander Theroux.

Theroux’s book was a wonderful exploration of the world of colour by close ‘study’ of the three primary colours: the history, the discovery and making of pigments, all the places and objects where you might see these colours and what they represent to those that have not only used them but loved them. People are passionate about colour and are even willing to go to war for them. Colours have always attracted strong passions due to their sometimes immense value. During the Renaissance, for instance, there would be strict contracts between those merchants and churches commissioning paintings and the artists detailing exactly how much lapus lazuli (the purest blue) should be used.

Theroux’s book, so rich in language, almost an epic poem or hymn to the beauty around us, had one great failing for a book about colour: no pictures.

Anne Varichon’s book (translated from French by Toula Ballas) fills this gap and is the perfect gift for yourself or for a loved one with an interest in the arts.

Want to see more?  Look at the book here.

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