This study argues that the meaning of colour lies in the particular historical contexts in which it is experienced. Three essays introduce the subject, and the remaining chapters follow themes of colour chronologically, from the early Middle Ages to the 20th century.
Is colour just a physiological phenomenon? Does it have an effect on feelings? This vividly written book, the sequel to the award-winning Colour and Culture, is ultimately informed by the conviction that the meaning of colour lies in the particular historical context in which it is experienced and interpreted. John Gage explores the mysteries of themes as diverse as the optical mixing techniques implicit in mosaic, colour-languages in Latin America at the time of the Spanish Conquest and the ideas of Goethe and Runge, Blake and Turner. For students and lecturers in the history of art and culture, for artists and designers, and for psychologists and scientists with a special interest in the subject, John Gage has produced a compelling study of the meaning of colour through the ages.