The Secret Lives of Color
by Kassia St Clair
Pub Date 24 Oct 2017
“Beautifully written . . . Full of anecdotes and fascinating research, this elegant compendium has all the answers.” —NPR, Best Books of 2017
The Secret Lives of Color tells the unusual stories of seventy-five fascinating shades, dyes, and hues. From blonde to ginger, the brown that changed the way battles were fought to the white that protected against the plague, Picasso’s blue period to the charcoal on the cave walls at Lascaux, acid yellow to kelly green, and from scarlet women to imperial purple, these surprising stories run like a bright thread throughout history.
In this book, Kassia St. Clair has turned her lifelong obsession with colors and where they come from (whether Van Gogh’s chrome yellow sunflowers or punk’s fluorescent pink) into a unique study of human civilization. Across fashion and politics, art and war, the secret lives of color tell the vivid story of our culture.
“This passionate and majestic compedium will leave you bathed in the gorgeous optics of light.” —Elle
"A light and lively guide to sights so easily taken for granted, THE SECRET LIVES OF COLOR offers plenty of fresh clues for the brain’s calculations."--The Economist
"Kassia St Clair obviously thinks (like any sensible person) that the saying 'don't judge a book by its cover' is nonsense. The cover of this one is dotted with tiny holes, each revealing a different colour. Such attention to detail is beautiful, and the same is true of the book's contents."--Daily Mail
"Brimming with facts and historical insights, THE SECRET LIVES OF COLOR explains the origins of colours both popular and obscure."--Elle UK