Color and Meaning: Art, Science, and Symbolism / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $14.47
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 72%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (17) from $14.47   
  • New (4) from $45.45   
  • Used (13) from $14.47   


Is color just a physiological reaction, a sensation resulting from different wave lengths of light on receptors in our eyes? Does color have an effect on our feelings? The phenomenon of color is examined in extraordinary new ways in John Gage's latest book. His pioneering study is informed by the conviction that color is a contingent, historical occurrence whose meaning, like language, lies in the particular contexts in which it is experienced and interpreted. Gage covers topics as diverse as the optical mixing techniques implicit in mosaic; medieval color-symbolism; the equipment of the manuscript illuminator's workshop; the color languages and color practices of Latin America at the time of the Spanish Conquest; the earliest history of the prism; and the color ideas of Goethe and Runge, Blake and Turner, Seurat and Matisse.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

New Republic
Extraordinary studies.
Everything Gage writes is essential reading for the serious student of color in art.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520226111
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,139,326
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 10.25 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

John Gage was formerly Head of the Department of History of Art at Cambridge University, where he is currently Reader in the History of Western Art. An authority on color and on Turner, he won the 1994 Mitchell Prize for the History of Art for his most recent book, Color and Culture: Practice and Meaning from Antiquity to Abstraction.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction 7
1 The Contexts of Colour 11
2 Colour and Culture 21
3 Colour in Art and its Literature 34
4 Colour in History - Relative and Absolute 67
5 Colour-words and Colour-patches 90
6 Ghiberti and Light 98
7 Color Colorado - Cross-cultural Studies in the Ancient Americas 105
8 The Fool's Paradise 121
9 Newton and Painting 134
10 Blake's Newton 144
11 Magilphs and Mysteries 153
12 Turner as a Colourist 162
13 'Two Different Worlds' - Runge, Goethe and the Sphere of Colour 169
14 Mood Indigo - From the Blue Flower to the Blue Rider 185
15 Chevreul between Classicism and Romanticism 196
16 The Technique of Seurat - A Reappraisal 209
17 Seurat's Silence 219
18 Matisse's Black Light 228
19 Colour as Language in Early Abstract Painting 241
20 A Psychological Background for Early Modern Colour 249
21 Making Sense of Colour - The Synaesthetic Dimension 261
Acknowledgments 270
Notes to the Text 271
Select Bibliography 306
List of Illustrations 312
Index 315
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)