Faber Birren, the noted color authority, surveys the color theories of the past and analyzes the palettes and techniques of painters from the Renaissance to 1965. Showing the relationship between color theory and practice, he sets forth a new art of color based on modern scientific research into human perception.
The first part of the book traces the development of color theory, presenting the views of such thinkers as Leonardo da Vinci, Newton, Goethe, Brewster, Hering, Chevreul, Rood, Ostwald, and Munsell. The palettes used by many great painters are described and listed in detail. Modern color theory and color effects based on human perception are fully explained and illustrated. A unique chart of artists' color samples duplicates visually the palettes of da Vinci, El Greco, Rembrandt, Turner, the Impressionists, and the Abstract Expressionists, enabling the painter of today to match the color effects of these painters.
The second part of the book offers a comprehensive history of painting as seen through the discerning eyes of a color specialist; it contains a wealth of reference material that supports the creative principles outlined in the first section.
The book contains over 500 illustrations, including 80 reproductions of famous artists and their palettes.