The History of a Color
By (author) Michel Pastoureau
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Black by Michel Pastoureau
Book DescriptionBlack--favorite color of priests and penitents, artists and ascetics, fashion designers and fascists--has always stood for powerfully opposed ideas: authority and humility, sin and holiness, rebellion and conformity, wealth and poverty, good and bad. In this beautiful and richly illustrated book, the acclaimed author of Blue now tells the fascinating social history of the color black in Europe. In the beginning was black, Michel Pastoureau tells us. The archetypal color of darkness and death, black was associated in the early Christian period with hell and the devil but also with monastic virtue. In the medieval era, black became the habit of courtiers and a hallmark of royal luxury. Black took on new meanings for early modern Europeans as they began to print words and images in black and white, and to absorb Isaac Newton's announcement that black was no color after all. During the romantic period, black was melancholy's friend, while in the twentieth century black (and white) came to dominate art, print, photography, and film, and was finally restored to the status of a true color. For Pastoureau, the history of any color must be a social history first because it is societies that give colors everything from their changing names to their changing meanings--and black is exemplary in this regard. In dyes, fabrics, and clothing, and in painting and other art works, black has always been a forceful--and ambivalent--shaper of social, symbolic, and ideological meaning in European societies. With its striking design and compelling text, Black will delight anyone who is interested in the history of fashion, art, media, or design.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780691139302
(229mm x 229mm x 25mm)
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 3-Oct-2008
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Michel Pastoureau
Green, Hardback (August 2014)
"First published in French language by Editions du Seuil, Paris, under the title Vert, Histoire d'une couleur." c2013--Page facing title page.
Colour of Our Memories, Hardback (July 2012)
* Michel Pastoureau is a very accomplished French historian who is well known for his books on colour. * This new book is a more personal reflection on 'the colour of our memories' - that is, the way that our memories of the past are infused with colour, and the way that we remember colours.
Bear, Hardback (October 2011)
From antiquity to the Middle Ages, the bear's centrality in cults and mythologies left traces in European languages, literatures, and legends. Michel Pastoureau considers how this once venerated creature was deposed by Christianity and continued to sink lower in the symbolic bestiary before rising again in Pyrrhic triumph as the teddy bear.
Chroma, Hardback (October 2010)» View all books by Michel Pastoureau
Celebrates colour in photography. This title includes hundreds of images by some of the biggest names in photography. It features such photographers as Steve McCurry, Martin Parr, Susan Meiselas, Bruno Barbey, Raghu Rai, Peter Marlow and many others.
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Author Biography - Michel Pastoureau
Michel Pastoureau is a historian and director of studies at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes de la Sorbonne in Paris. He is the author of many books, including "Blue: The History of a Color" (Princeton) and "The Devil's Cloth: A History of Stripes".
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