The World According to Colour: A Cultural History (Hardback)
  • The World According to Colour: A Cultural History (Hardback)
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The World According to Colour: A Cultural History (Hardback)

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£25.00
Hardback 320 Pages / Published: 07/10/2021
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A beguiling cultural history of colour by the BAFTA nominated broadcaster and art historian James Fox

'This book is a triumph. James Fox's passionate and illuminating exploration of the extraordinary relationship we have with colour is itself extraordinary. It is an intellectual feast as well as a visual one - a true biography of colour which will delight readers.' Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare with Amber Eyes

The subject of this book is humankind's extraordinary relationship with colour. It is composed of a series of voyages, ranging across the world and throughout history, which reveal the meanings that have been attached to the colours we see around us and the ways these have shaped our culture and imagination. It takes seven primary colours - black, red, yellow, blue, white, purple and green - and uncovers behind each a root idea, based on visual resemblances or properties so rudimentary as to be common to all societies.

The book traces these meanings to show how they changed and multiplied, the role that they have played in our culture and history, and how understanding them allows us to see many of the milestones in the history of art - from Bronze Age gold-work to Turner, Titian to Yves Klein - in a new way. It proceeds by stories, which cumulatively tell another, larger one: a history of the world from the black nothing which preceded existence to the birth of our red-blooded species; the gilded gods who animated the world in antiquity to the blue horizons which framed the Age of Discovery; the pristine aspirations of Enlightenment, the technicolour innovation which fuelled the Industrial Revolution and the colour which most embodies the environmental crisis which now faces us.

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781846148248
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 610 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 32 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
admirable ... The World According to Colour is a brilliant cultural history ... This intelligent, vividly written book is full of such black, red, yellow, blue, white, purple and green nuggets. -- Laura Freeman * The Times *
Fox glides into intellectual spaces; colour becomes a philosophical feast - astrophyscis, the origins of civilisation, a palette of moral associations. Though dazzling, everything has a point: when Fox shoots, he scores. You never see it coming, then suddenly all the pieces fit together as though they were meant to be -- Ed Smith * New Statesman Books of the Year *
a tour de force ... he weaves together the historical, cultural and scientific background to provide context for a succession of bravura insights ... this is a brilliant book -- Honor Clerk * The Spectator *
In this compelling book, James Fox shows that the meanings connected to particular colours aren't arbitrary but are instead materially, socially and culturally determined ... One of a flurry of recent books on colour, Fox's is distinguished by his broad historical approach and by the diversity of perspectives and sources ... The greatest pleasure of this book is the way Fox's essays move fluently between the material, moral and historical ... This is a book that makes you want to paint. -- Joad Raymond * BBC History Magazine *
the book is a pleasure... a compelling and elegant...a rare achievement - a scholarly reference work that invites reading for pleasure. -- Florence Hallett * i news *
For once, no problem with Christmas presents this year. The World According to Colour by James Fox is a brilliantly fluent and readable history of colour, galloping across a wide cultural and scientific landscape. -- Honor Clerk * Spectator Books of the Year *
fascinating...In this book (Fox) has gifted each of us a manual to navigate and enjoy the extraordinary design of the world around us. -- Anna Galbraith * Mail on Sunday *

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“A Work of Dazzling Brilliance.”

Having been a fan of James Fox’s work and his thoughts on colour since watching his series on the subject in 2012, this book was my most anticipated release of 2021. The series, made for the BBC all those years ago... More

Hardback edition
9 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 7

“A love letter not just to colour but to the world itself”

James Fox writes beautifully. In The World According to Colour, he’s engaging even when dealing with technicalities such as explaining the wavelengths of light and describing haemoglobin’s role in the blood. He... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 5

“A wide ranging, utterly fascinating read, not just for art lovers”

This is an amazing wide ranging book. I stand in awe of how much James Fox has packed in to this one book. and how well he has structured it. As he says at the end of the book

"The history of colour, therefore,... More

Hardback edition
1 similar book recommended
Helpful? Upvote 2

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