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 the only color 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 of Blue, Black, and Green, 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.
Red Hardback edition by Michel Pastoureau
- Michel Pastoureau
- Princeton University Press
- Publication date
- Dec 2, 2016
- Product dimensions
- 237 x 243 x 24mm
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