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Colour : Travels Through the Paintbox - Victoria Finlay


Travels Through the Paintbox


Published: 8th May 2003
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RRP $22.99
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Published: 30th December 2014
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On a journey that takes her from Afghanistan to the Australian outback, to ancient caves in China and the saffron harvest in Spain, Victoria Finlay gives an account of the history of colour. Part travelogue, part narrative history, this study unlocks the history of the colours of the rainbow and reveals how paints came to be invented, discovered, traded and used. It remembers a time when red paint really was the colour of blood, when orange was the poison pigment, blue as expensive as gold and yellow made from the urine of cows force-fed with mangoes. It looks at how green was carried by yaks along the silk road, and how an entire nation was founded on the colour purple. "Colour" lifts the lid on the historical palette and unearths a wealth of stories about the quest for colours and our efforts to understand them.


The World of Colour!


Giving insite into history of colour use and political manipulations that influenced availability

Wagga Wagga NSW


I love this book!


I adore this book! It's my go-to gift for special friends. Fascinating stories that span the globe as the writer goes in search of the origins of colour. Every time you think "oh I wonder if?..." she answers it. For example in the section on white (its categorised by colours) she describes what it would be like to slowly die of lead poisoning if you were using it as makeup. Really amazing



A Masterful Surprise


I read this book years ago, and have just read it again recently. Have also given it as a gift to a few of my friends! Although it's very history and information heavy, it's written in a really enganging story-like manner, which is so easy to get right into. The "stories" are fascinating and vibrant. I LOVE this book!

Hobart, TAS


A fascinating journey into colour


Brilliant book on colour, I never thought it would be such a fascinating journey that the author took. Thoroughly enjoyed it and cant recommend it enough




5.0 4


[Victoria Finlay's] curiosity is inexhaustible, her reading wide, and her writing style a delight - Sunday Telegraph

It's pure pleasure to join this gutsy arts reporter-cum-scholar on her quest for historical pigments and dyes around the world - Independent

A highly companionable guide, adventurous and romantic - Independent on Sunday

A treasure trove of human history and obsession...the breadth of research and insight is dazzling. - The Glasgow Herald

This is a rare and wonderful book - a model of erudition and charm, the writing elegant and precise, and with at least one new and fascinating revelation on every single page. I could not be more enthusiastic. - Simon Winchester, author of THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN

Packed with stories, anecdotes and adventures. A full rainbow ... as vivid as the colours themselves - Express

You get your money's worth and change to spare ... Both picaresque and picturesque, it's a rich read. - Evening Standard

It's hard to criticise her spirit of cultural exploration and easy to share her intelligent enthusiasm . . .Packed with pertinent trivia . . . informative and fun - South China Morning Post

ISBN: 9780340733295
ISBN-10: 0340733292
Series: The Hungry Student
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 512
Published: 8th May 2003
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 20.2 x 13.8  x 3.3
Weight (kg): 0.37
Edition Number: 1