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Bright Earth

Art and the Invention of Color

From Egyptian wall paintings to the Venetian Renaissance, impressionism to digital images, Philip Ball tells the fascinating story of how art, chemistry, and technology have interacted throughout the ages to render the gorgeous hues we admire on our walls and in our museums.

Finalist for the 2002 National Book Critics Circle Award.

434 pages | 41 color plates, 13 halftones, 6 line drawings | 6 x 9 | © 2001

Art: Art Criticism

History of Science

Table of Contents

1. The Eye of the Beholder
The Scientist in the Studio
2. Plucking the Rainbow
The Physics and Chemistry of Color
3. The Forge of Vulcan
Color Technology in Antiquity
4. Secret Recipes
Alchemy’s Artistic Legacy
5. Masters of Light and Shadow
The Glory of the Renaissance
6. Old Gold
The Revival of an Austere Palette
7. The Prismatic Metals
Synthetic Pigments and the Dawn of Color Chemistry
8. The Reign of Light
Impressionism’s Bright Impact
9. A Passion for Purple
Dyes and the Industrialization of Color
10. Shades of Midnight
The Problem of Blue
11. Time As Painter
The Ever-Changing Canvas
12. Capturing Color
How Art Appears in Reproduction
13. Mind Over Matter
Color as Form in Modernism
14. Art for Art’s Sake
New Materials, New Horizons

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