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The History of a Color
Michel Pastoureau(Autor*in)
Princeton University Press
1. Auflage
Erschienen am 13. Juni 2023
216 Seiten
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978-0-691-25137-0 (ISBN)
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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.

Michel Pastoureau is a historian and director of studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études de la Sorbonne in Paris. A specialist in the history of colors, symbols, and heraldry, he is the author of many books, including Green, Black, and Blue (all Princeton) and The Devil's Cloth: A History of Stripes. His books have been translated into more than thirty languages.
  • Cover
  • Half-title
  • Copyright
  • Title
  • Contents
  • Introduction
  • The First Color (From Earliest Times to the End of Antiquity)
  • The First Palettes
  • Fire and Blood
  • With Pliny among the Painters
  • Dyeing in Red
  • Roman Purple
  • Red in Everyday Life
  • Evidence from the Lexicon
  • The Favorite Color (Sixth to Fourteenth Centuries)
  • The Four Reds of the Church Fathers
  • The Blood of Christ
  • The Red of Power
  • The First Color of Heraldry
  • Love, Glory, and Beauty
  • Blue versus Red
  • The Wardrobes of Beautiful Florentine Ladies
  • A Controversial Color (Fourteenth to Seventeenth Centuries)
  • In the Flames of Hell
  • Judas, the Redhead
  • Hatred of Red
  • The Red of Painters
  • A Primary Color
  • Fabric and Clothing
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • A Dangerous Color? (Eighteenth to Twenty-First Centuries)
  • On the Margins of Red: Pink
  • Makeup and Society Life
  • Red Caps and Flags: In the Midst of the Revolution
  • A Political Color
  • Emblems and Signals
  • Red for the Present Day
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Photography Credits
  • Acknowledgments

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