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Colour is all around us; we take it for granted as a naturally occurring aspect of all things. Yet colours are also manufactured, and the science of pigments, hues and dyes has an ancient and fascinating history.
What were the colours of Ancient Egypt? What did its artists use to paint their magnificent frescoes? Where do indigo and ochre come from? Why is purple the colour of royalty? What are pastels? How many colours are there? Why do we dye our food? Who invented ink? What are white and black made of? What is the symbolism of yellow?
From the 40,000-years-old painted caves at Lascaux to the medieval cloth trade that enriched Europe, to the synthetic chemistry of today, the history of colour making has a central place in our lives. This book surveys the history of dyes and pigments, the invention of new colours and the industries that were fuelled by them.