Robert Antoine Pinchon, The Ile de Croise with the Colors of the Sun, 1908. Private collection. Photo via the-athenaeum.org (Public Domain).
In Victoria Finlay’s Color: A Natural History of the Palette (New York: Ballantine Books, 2002), you’ll learn dozens (if not hundreds) of facts about colors and where they’ve come from throughout history. The book is a sort of color-based travel narrative. Finlay went all over the world to find the sources and stories of history’s main color pigments. She went to some pretty great lengths in her quest, venturing far beyond what the typical tourist would ever dare to travel.
I might dedicate a fun facts post to one of the things I learned in the book, but you’ll have to read it for yourself to find out the rest. Just be prepared if you do. The stories behind a surprising number of common color pigments are quite unsettling, and a…
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