The Anatomy of Colour

The Anatomy of Colour


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The Anatomy of Colour

Patrick Baty

It is an over-used expression, but this book truly is a definitive work, covering anything you ever need to know about colour pigment used in interior design. Put like that it sounds dry, but this exhaustively researched and erudite volume is utterly compelling for anyone who has ever pored over paint samples or gazed enrapt at an interior.

Covering three centuries, the book is divided into four main sections: the first 1650-1830, second 1830-1900, third 1900-45 and the fourth 1945-60, these diminishing time lapses reflect the speed of progress. In the first section Baty looks at traditional paints and pigments and through the following chapters he charts the evolution that takes place with colour, reflecting too upon technical discovery and assessing the diverse influences involved in the process.

The facts are remarkably interesting; the illustrations are sumptuous. Aside from facsimiles of colour charts from different periods that are as brightly alluring as sweeties to a child, there are breath taking interior shots, from the 1470s limewash used at Magdalen College, Oxford, to the Victorian interior of Leighton House, London, stopping off, for example, at Walpole’s Strawberry Hill and Adam’s 1770s scheme at Headfort House, Ireland.

Patrick Baty is an historian and art historian who lectures on 18th-and 19th-century interiors and advises English Heritage as well as major commercial paint companies on pigment.


Format: Hardback

Dimension: H:27.2cm, W:21.6cm, D:3.6cm

Pages: 352

Illustrations: Full colour throughout, over 1,500 illlustrations

ISBN:- 10: 0500519331

ISBN:- 13: 9780500519332