Rating: 4 out of 5

I chose to read this book because of a conversation in the office at the beginning of the year about colours, and about words for colours specifically. After having listened to a few podcasts and read a few articles about this topic I realised that I didn’t know much else about colours really either. This book was mentioned on one of the podcasts I think and so decided that it would be a good place to start.

It’s kind of travelogue meets history meets art history. Each colour related chapter focusses on how the dye/paint evolved. Stories abound about how some of the most famous artists, Turner is the example I can remember, didn’t necessarily consider the longevity of the colour of the paints they chose. So, some of the grey moody skies may well have been sunrise/sunset artefacts but the pink/orange/red has chemically deteriorated to leave grey/black.

My only negative comment really is that it could have been a bit shorter. At times it felt like a bit of a battle rather than a complete enjoyment.

Overall though, if you’re interested in colours, paint or dye, then it’s a good book to get some background.

Originally posted to my Goodreads account