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Couleurs, le grand livre

Michel Pastoureau and Dominique Simonnet

Historian Michel Pastureau works in a territory he has already largely cleared and offers in an affable manner – a dialogue with Dominique Simonnet – the result of his research on colors. Why do we prefer blue today, while the Romans of the Antiquity scorned it, why is yellow still held in contempt? Why is green a «soft» color - Goethe recommendid it for the bedroom – and why were the pieces from a chess game before always red and black? Why did the popes, in the XIVth century, abandon white for red? While combining opinions on the techniques of dyeing, symbolic analysis and anecdotes, the book draws up the biography of each of the six colors (blue, green, red, white, black, yellow) and the five semi-colors. The iconography, very varied, covers a large span, from the stained glass windows of Nuremberg to Richard Diebenkorn’s urban landscapes.

• Couleurs, le grand livre, Michel Pastoureau and Dominique Simonnet, Panama, 2008, 120 p., 35 €, ISBN : 978-2-7557-0385-6.

Couleurs, le grand livre - Michel Pastoureau and Dominique Simonnet

Review published in the newsletter #106 - from 23 October 2008 to 29 October 2008

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