Red: The History of a Color by Michel PastoureauRed: The History of a Color by Michel Pastoureau

Red: The History of a Color

byMichel PastoureauTranslated byJody Gladding

Hardcover | February 14, 2017

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

The color 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 color of many but rather theonlycolor worthy enough to be used for social purposes. In some languages, the word for red was the same as the word for color. The first color 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 color 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 favor. After the French Revolution, red gained new respect as the color of progressive movements and radical left-wing politics.

In this beautifully illustrated book, Michel Pastoureau, the acclaimed author ofBlue,Black, andGreen, now masterfully navigates centuries of symbolism and complex meanings to present the fascinating and sometimes controversial history of the color 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.

Michel Pastoureauis a historian and director of studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études de la Sorbonne in Paris. A specialist in the history of colors, symbols, and heraldry, he is the author of many books, includingGreen,Black, andBlue(all Princeton) andThe Devil's Cloth: A History of Stripes. His books have been translated in...
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Title:Red: The History of a ColorFormat:HardcoverDimensions:216 pages, 9 × 9 × 0.98 inPublished:February 14, 2017Publisher:Princeton University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0691172773

ISBN - 13:9780691172774

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Table of Contents

Introduction 7
The First Color (From Earliest Times To The End Of Antiquity) 12
The First Palettes 16
Fire and Blood 22
With Pliny among the Painters 30
Dyeing in Red 37
Roman Purple 40
Red in Everyday Life 44
Evidence from the Lexicon 50
The Favorite Color (Sixth To Fourteenth Centuries) 54
The Four Reds of the Church Fathers 58
The Blood of Christ 64
The Red of Power 69
The First Color of Heraldry 74
Love, Glory, and Beauty 80
Blue versus Red 86
The Wardrobes of Beautiful Florentine Ladies 90
A Controversial Color(Fourteenth To Seventeenth Centuries) 94
In the Flames of Hell 98
Judas, the Redhead 102
Hatred of Red 108
The Red of Painters 116
A Primary Color 126
Fabric and Clothing 130
Little Red Riding Hood 135
A Dangerous Color? (Eighteenth To Twenty-First Centuries) 140
On the Margins of Red: Pink 144
Makeup and Society Life 152
Red Caps and Flags: In the Midst of the Revolution 163
A Political Color 167
Emblems and Signals 176
Red for the Present Day 181
Notes 195
Bibliography 209
Photography Credits214
Acknowledgments 216

Editorial Reviews

"A captivating human, sociological and spiritual history."--Connaissance des Arts