Black : The History of a Color

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-10-27
  • Publisher: Princeton Univ Pr
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Black--favorite color of priests and penitents, artists and ascetics, fashion designers and fascists--has always stood for powerfully opposed ideas: authority and humility, sin and holiness, rebellion and conformity, wealth and poverty, good and bad. In this beautiful and richly illustrated book, the acclaimed author ofBluenow tells the fascinating social history of the color black in Europe.In the beginning was black, Michel Pastoureau tells us. The archetypal color of darkness and death, black was associated in the early Christian period with hell and the devil but also with monastic virtue. In the medieval era, black became the habit of courtiers and a hallmark of royal luxury. Black took on new meanings for early modern Europeans as they began to print words and images in black and white, and to absorb Isaac Newton's announcement that black was no color after all. During the romantic period, black was melancholy's friend, while in the twentieth century black (and white) came to dominate art, print, photography, and film, and was finally restored to the status of a true color.For Pastoureau, the history of any color must be a social history first because it is societies that give colors everything from their changing names to their changing meanings--and black is exemplary in this regard. In dyes, fabrics, and clothing, and in painting and other art works, black has always been a forceful--and ambivalent--shaper of social, symbolic, and ideological meaning in European societies.With its striking design and compelling text,Blackwill delight anyone who is interested in the history of fashion, art, media, or design.

Table of Contents

Introduction 11in the Beginning was Black from the Beginning to the Year 1000 19
Mythologies of Darknessp. 21
From Darkness to Colorsp. 24
From Palette to Lexiconp. 27
Death and Its Colorp. 30
The Black Birdp. 36
Black, White, Redp. 39
In The Devil's Palette Tenth to Thirteenth Centuriesp. 45
The Devil and His Imagesp. 47
The Devil and His Colorsp. 51
A Disturbing Bestiaryp. 56
To Dispel the Darknessp. 60
The Monks' Quarrel: White versus Blackp. 63
A New Color Order: The Coat of Armsp. 68
Who Was the Black Knight?p. 72
A Fashionable Color Fourteenth to Sixteenth Centuriesp. 77
The Colors of the Skinp. 79
The Christianization of Dark Skinp. 82
Jesus with the Dyerp. 88
Dyeing in Blackp. 90
The Color's Moral Codep. 95
The Luxury of Princesp. 100
The Gray of Hopep. 106
The Birth of The World In Black and White Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuriesp. 113
Ink and Paperp. 115
Color in Black and Whitep. 119
Hachures and Guillochuresp. 122
The Color Warp. 124
The Protestant Dress Codep. 130
A Very Somber Centuryp. 134
The Return of the Devilp. 136
New Speculations, New Classificationsp. 140
A New Order of Colorsp. 144
All The Colors of Black Eighteenth to Twenty-First Centuriesp. 151
The Triumph of Colorp. 153
The Age of Enlightenmentp. 159
The Poetics of Melancholyp. 165
The Age of Coal and Factoriesp. 170
Regarding Imagesp. 176
A Modern Colorp. 180
A Dangerous Color?p. 190
Notesp. 196
Bibliographyp. 207
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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