A grey background with different colours scattered across, some in rock form, some in powder. The title is in the centre top in white letters.


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Did you know that the Egyptians created the first synthetic colour; or that the noblest purple comes from a predatory sea snail? Throughout history, artist pigments have been made from deadly metals, poisonous minerals, urine, cow dung, and even crushed insects.

From grinding down beetles and burning animal bones to alchemy and pure luck, Chromatopia reveals the origin stories behind over fifty of history’s most vivid colour pigments. Spanning the ancient world to modern leaps in technology, this is the book for the artist, the history buff, the science lover and the design fanatic.


Author: David Coles

Photographer: Adrian Lander

Format: Hardback

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

ISBN: 9780500501351

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