Red Like No Other: How Cochinea Colored the World: An Epic Story of Art, Culture, Science and Trade - Museum Bookstore

Red Like No Other: How Cochinea Colored the World: An Epic Story of Art, Culture, Science and Trade

Regular price £39.95

'The exhibition and its accompanying book, with essays by forty international scholars, reveal how the brilliant red dye extracted from the parasitic cochineal insect, discovered first in Mexico and Peru and then imported to Europe by the Spaniards, spread all over the civilised world to be incorporated in paintings, textiles and decorative arts' - Burlington Magazine

Red Like No Other

This catalogue for the 2015 exhibition at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe tells the captivating story of the pursuit of the most powerful colour and how painters and other artists engaged in a quest for the source of the perfect red that conveyed the luxury, spirit, and substance of living.

In the 1520s, Spanish explorers found the perfect red in the grand Aztec markets -in a dye derived from the cochineal insect. The ensuing global spread of American cochineal changed art, culture, science, and trade for centuries. The images show how the colorant touched cultures and artists worldwide, including pre-Columbian weavers, painters of Spain's Golden Age, Middle Eastern rug makers, and Navajo weavers.

El Greco, Tintoretto, Velazquez, van Dyck, Rembrandt, Vermeer, and van Gogh used it, as did Spanish fashion icon Mariano Fortuny. Today, contemporary artists and designers continue to embrace the colorant for its beauty and meaning. An international team of more than forty scholars and experts brings a wide spectrum of original research on the symbolic meaning of red, the material meaning of cochineal in art and trade, and the history of the artists driven to find the perfect red.

  • Author: Carmella Padilla
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Date published: September 2015
  • Language: English
  • Delivery: Allow 1-2 weeks
  • ISBN: 978-0847846436
  • Product Dimensions: 28.7 x 23.7 x 3.3 cm

'Red Like No Other is several books in one.. I found it fascinating...It is the story of the American cochineal bug, a tiny insect that lives on a cactus and provides a deep red color like freshly shed blood that has been used as a dye since the second century B.C' - Chicago Tribune

'One of this year’s most fascinating exhibitions.. The exhibition and its accompanying book, with essays by forty international scholars, reveal how the brilliant red dye extracted from the parasitic cochineal insect, discovered first in Mexico and Peru and then imported to Europe by the Spaniards, spread all over the civilised world to be incorporated in paintings, textiles and decorative arts' - Burlington Magazine

'The tiny cochineal bug is an unlovely thing, midway in appearance between a beetle and a cockroach. Yet when the insect is ground up with its eggs and hundreds of its fellows, the powder produced can be coaxed into a dazzling rainbow of reds—from pale pinks to deep burgundies, purples and flaming scarlets. The Red That Colored the World, tells the story of how cochineal red made its way around the globe, from Aztec culture to the paintings of the High Renaissance to modern-day haute couture' - Wall Street Journal