The Power of Color: Five Centuries of European Painting
By Marcia B. Hall
Marcia B. Hall, professor of art history at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University, explores “how pictures come to look the way they do, and what color can tell us about how painters used their materials; what those materials were; what influenced their choices of what to make and how to make it…; and how all that affects what their pictures mean”.
This expansive study illuminates the substance, context and meaning of five centuries of European painting, revealing the power of colour as physical medium, a key to interpretation, and a mediator of social and political change.
Examples from the book include how Michelangelo radically broke with his contemporaries’ harmonising use of colour in favour of a highly saturated approach; how the robust art market and demand for affordable pictures in seventeenth-century Netherlands helped popularise subtly coloured landscape paintings; and how modern artists liberated colour from representation as their own role transformed from manipulators of pigments to visionaries celebrated for their individual expression.
The author’s insistence on the importance of examining technique and material to understand artistic meaning gives readers the tools to look at these paintings with fresh eyes.
Edition: 1st, 2019
Dimensions: H:27.9cm, W:21.6cm, D:cm
Extent: 304 pages
Illustrations: 204 colour + 8 B&W