Color: A Natural History of the Palette

Color: A Natural History of the Palette

by Victoria Finlay

Paperback(Reprint)

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Color 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked it a lot. It was well written full of facts and anecdotes on the origins of colors in terms of dyes and pigments. I picked this up as just light fluffy reading and it has sparked a deeper interest in the origins of colors and meanings that have been attached to them. On the bad side I'm left with the feeling that there could have been more to it. I'm currently waiting for her second book to arrive so I can read that as well.
Valerius More than 1 year ago
This was a book club selection that I did not want to read, and ended up thoroughly enjoying. I had no particular interest in color history, but Finlay weaves such fascinating and informative stories and history around her topics that I've developed an interest, learned a lot, and been hugely entertained. I might compare her writing to Simon Winchester or Mark Kurlansky, but better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am very disappointed with this book.  It is less a history of the palette than a collection of historical or historically based tidbits, that go on for pages with no mention of the connection to color.  I believe there are books which tell more about color and culture without all the tales from Arabian nights. As others have posted, there could have been more to and then again less.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did expect a little more in the way of "textbook"-type info about each color--then again, I sometimes have silly expectations :) Definitely some interesting stories connected to each hue and I am not sorry to have read it!
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Where do we get all the wonderful colors for dyes and paints? Yet another book I received too late and raced through, trying to catch up. I hereby resolve to not race through another book; reading too fast spoils the fun.
nicole_a_davis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the fastest, best non-fiction reads. I wish there had been more chapters, looking at more colors and facets of art and social history.
snash on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very readable story of one woman's quest to learn the stories of the old dyes and pigments. In the process she uncovered the rise and fall of whole industries, cities built on a particular color, lives focused on a color. She also reveals the meanings and significance these various colors have had within cultures then and now. In many cases finding the stories involved a difficult wild goose chase. Surprising to discover that colors had an impact on trade and power approaching that of spices until the advent of synthetic colors.
bridgetZsweet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
very interesting stuff, but painfully boring naration
devilish2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Victoria Findlay is a journalist who takes us on a very entertaining journey through the rainbow of colours used by painters and dyers through the centuries (and millenia). She manages the right mix of history, social history and culture, chemistry, observation and personal anecdote. It reminded me a bit of Bill Bryson's writing, only her humour is gentler and she manages to sustain her tone for the whole book.
mamacate on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The material is fascinating enough to make the rather plodding writing worth following. The author clearly has passion for the subject, but somehow this gets lost in the rather dry prose. It could have been so much better.
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surprised to find it was in back and white. not sure if original was B&W, don't think it was accurate use of words.
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