Red : The History of a Color available to buy at Museum Bookstore

Red : The History of a Color

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'Beautifully and imaginatively illustrated . . . Red is less a theory than a very readable compendium of fascinating facts. . . . Red contains more than enough engrossing diversions that act like a traffic light and bring you to a stop.' - The Times

A beautifully illustrated visual and cultural history of the colour red throughout the ages

The colour red has represented many things, from the life force and the divine to love, lust, and anger. Up through the Middle Ages, red held a place of privilege in the Western world. For many cultures, red was not just one colour of many but rather the only colour worthy enough to be used for social purposes.

In some languages, the word for red was the same as the word for colour. The first colour developed for painting and dying, red became associated in antiquity with war, wealth, and power. In the medieval period, red held both religious significance, as the colour of the blood of Christ and the fires of Hell, and secular meaning, as a symbol of love, glory, and beauty.

Yet during the Protestant Reformation, red began to decline in status. Viewed as indecent and immoral and linked to luxury and the excesses of the Catholic Church, red fell out of favour. After the French Revolution, red gained new respect as the colour of progressive movements and radical left-wing politics.

In this beautifully illustrated book, Michel Pastoureau, the acclaimed author of Blue, Black, and Green, now masterfully navigates centuries of symbolism and complex meanings to present the fascinating and sometimes controversial history of the colour red. Pastoureau illuminates red's evolution through a diverse selection of captivating images, including the cave paintings of Lascaux, the works of Renaissance masters, and the modern paintings and stained glass of Mark Rothko and Josef Albers.

  • Author: Michel Pastoureau
  • Hardcover: 216 pages | 112 colour illustrations
  • Date published: December 2016
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-0691172774
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 24.4 cm

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