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Distributed for Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Naturally Brilliant Colour

The first book to showcase art made using nature’s most powerfully intense colors.
For thousands of years, the raw materials of the natural world have supplied the vivid colors found in art, with hues drawn from sources including metal ores, plant roots, and even animal waste. Naturally Brilliant Colour showcases the debut of a new frontier in botanically derived pigment: Pure Structural Color, found in the metallic shimmer of marble berries and the wings of certain hummingbirds and butterflies, and widely considered the brightest color visible to the human eye.

Art and science collide, with dazzling results, in the works showcased here, which were all created by scientist, author, and artist Andrew Parker using Pure Structural Color. In addition, this eye-popping book traces the biological story of how this type of color evolved simultaneously with the organs of the optical system itself, a conjunction mirrored in the patterns and visual effects of the art collected within. Illustrated with sixty vibrant images, Naturally Brilliant Colour opens our eyes to reveal that the world of color is more complex and sophisticated than previously imagined.

112 pages | 60 color plates | 9 1/2 x 11

Biological Sciences: Evolutionary Biology

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Table of Contents

Foreword p9
1 Background p10
2 The evolution of vision and the beginning of colour p18
3 The types of colour in nature p26
4 The quest to reproduce structural colour in natural history illustrations p40
5 Pure Structural Colour – the world’s brightest colour p48
6 Coral G. Guest’s Pollia p50
7 Kaleidoscope p56
8 Pure Structural Colour and Thornton’s Temple of Flora p64
9 Pure Structural Colour artworks p80
10 Optical illusions p96
11 Bio-inspiration p106
12 Harmony p108
Further reading p110
Acknowledgements p110
Index p111
Picture credits p112

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