Free ↠ Bleu : Histoire d'une couleur By Michel Pastoureau –

Bleu : Histoire d'une couleur BleuL Histoire De La Couleur Bleue Dans Les Soci T S Europ Ennes Est Celle D Un Complet Renversement Pour Les Grecs Et Les Romains, Cette Couleur Compte Peu Elle Est M Me D Sagr Able L Il Or Aujourd Hui, Partout En Europe, Le Bleu Est De Tr S Loin La Couleur Pr F R E Devant Le Vert Et Le Rouge L Ouvrage De Michel Pastoureau Raconte L Histoire De Ce Renversement, En Insistant Sur Les Pratiques Sociales De La Couleur Toffes Et V Tements, Vie Quotidienne, Symboles Et Sur Sa Place Dans La Cr Ation Litt Raire Et Artistique, Depuis Les Soci T S Antiques Et M Di Vales Jusqu L Poque Moderne Il Analyse Galement Le Triomphe Du Bleu L Poque Contemporaine, Dresse Un Bilan De Ses Emplois Et Significations Et S Interroge Sur Son Avenir

10 thoughts on “Bleu : Histoire d'une couleur

  1. says:

    YOUTHFUL BLUES We are so used to see colours at their best that we no longer see their richness Any tone, any tint, any hue now is as it should be But it wasn t always like this Not too long ago, endowing colours to objects was a difficult, expensive, laborious, and sometime politically dangerous endeavour Back then it was not so much their chromatic tone as their depth that mattered Luminosity and richness, saturation and concentration were the valued qualities of a colour Those were the colouring values So much so that some tints were ignored From Pastoureau we learn that for a fairly long time, in the West, only a few colours were talked about and blue was not one of them Blue is a young colour Talking about a colour means endowing colour with a place in language The Greeks did not really have a term for blue They used the word Glaukos to refer to a light tone, while Kyaneus alluded to a mineral and to being dark And we have Homer missing his blues and alluding to the wine dark sea They did however have the word Indikon, but it referred to the material pigment of Asian origins, rather than to its chromatics Even in the Bible blue is not found, while red has a blatant presence It is after all a fairly violent book The Romans knew blue, but paid little attention to it since they had seen that the Barbarians from the Germanic lands and Brittany painted their own selves in blue The Romans relegated the tone to the lower classes and to backgrounds in decorative uses.The conspicuous neglect of blue in the Greek world perplexed the nineteenth century when it was concluded that the Greeks simply could not see, physiologically, this colour Thanks to a social and historical approach our current understanding is that blue had not gained its own cultural space As Pastoureau says, it was not a question of vision but of perception.The most secured path when tracking the history of colour is to follow that of dyeing and dyers And this began in Asia and Africa, and at the beginning there were only three tones white, black and red They were the three poles for the two axes White was the centre and Black was its opposite in terms of Luminosity, while Red was the other extreme for Density.When cultural consciousness began identifying blue, Latin had to borrow new terms from other languages Azureus came from Arabic while Blavus arrived from Germanic tongues Red, however, not only did have of its own language but the word colour itself implied red Some languages such as Spanish have kept the word colorado for red If blue is not a biblical colour, it did not manage to get its codified place in Christian liturgy either Worship was cast in red, white, black, green, gold and violet Blue, however, begins to appear, modestly, in the arts in the West around 1000, but was not clearly distinguishable until just less than two centuries later Its advent was embroiled in the theological discussion on whether colour was a quality of light or of the object If the former, then it was also divine and immaterial, but if it pertained to the latter, its materiality immediately demoted it to the superficial Vanitas Venerated or shunned This was the Cluniac and Cistercian debate.Those who enjoy iridescence have to thank Abbot Suger s passionate defence of colour in his De consecratione He presented it as a component of godly light and therefore the concomitant element of the visual and architectural arts that this treatise strongly defended For it is in the filtering of the sacred sunrays that blue makes a magnificent presence as it pervades with its hue the glorious space In Suger s Abbey the anointing blue was christened as Bleu Saint Denis Having acquired the same preciosity as Sapphire, the hue extended its presence to enamels and to illuminations of luxurious book pages In manuscripts it jumps from backgrounds to the most exquisite presence, the tunic or the mantle of the virgin.From art it was easy for blue to run onto people s clothes, and in France we have King Saint Louis ostentatiously wearing it Of course, the Capetians had already started using it somewhat earlier as they adopted the virginal Lys and the Azur for their armour Louis made blue the hue of royalty and Heraldry provided the international channels for further European distribution Suger was right but so was Saint Bernard Colour is part of light but its materiality cannot be denied either Colour has its physics and its chemistry Pigments, accessing to them and their deployment were not obvious tasks Lapis lazuli, indigo indigotine or woad for blues, and madder and cochineal for reds, turned men s minds and purses around Pastoureau does not dwell in detail on the peculiarities in the handling of these pigments, but gives a fascinating account of how different and powerful economic centres developed in Europe in Thuringia, Tuscany and the Languedoc their wealth had been tinted with blue.The rapid ascendancy of blue continued during the middle ages and, together with green and yellow, it succeeded in breaking the stable trio of white black red But another black entered the scene and the Black Death in mid fourteenth century halted, amongst other things, the way the new array of tones were perceived The aftermath of the plague brought about the stringent Sumptuary Laws Pastoureau unfolds the tripartite dimensions of these Laws the Economic, the Ethical and the Ideological But all these laws tinted with different moral tones all the colours, with red acquiring its reprehensible scarlet tone Red was seen in its full amoral blush, while blue, similarly to the way it avoided liturgy, also stood on the sides of morality.If penance filtered sin in the coloured senses, their denial would mark the path to follow The fifteenth century is the century of black and the budding house of Burgundy, when it spread its cosmopolitan presence, would then install it in several of the European courts Blue, in its darker variety benefited from its blackish lustre.When Christian religion split again, its hues also separated and we see a renewal of the Cluniac Cistercian debate amongst the Reformation and the Catholic branches But this time it was only the chromatic aspect, and not the richness or saturation of the tone, what was judged as a contemptible display of wealth.It had to be the century of the Enlightenment when light was finally shed on colour Newton displayed the full spectrum and with it black and white ceased to be seen as colours The rainbow, which for centuries had been identified as a gradation of six colours, finally acquired its seventh, blue The labels of Primary and Complementary were attached to the different wavelengths, and new additional qualities were identified Some hues were cold and some warm.And yet, Newton forgot about perception It was Goethe who recovered it from Aristotle in his Zur Farbenlehre in 1810 The subject, and not just the prism, was important in the formation of colour Goethe also made blue the hue of Romanticism when he covered his Werther in this tone And it was also in Germanic lands were the very successful Prussian blue was precipitated and where later the synthetic anilines started a new, and huge, industry.Blue is both a beautiful and fascinating subject and Pastoureau draws attention to many interesting aspects But it is a complex theme, and while at times a bit repetitive, he does not discuss enough the uses of the blue in the Ancient Middle East and Egypt, nor its appearance in decorative uses in the Greek world Similarly, the uses of blue in the Arabic world and its entrance in the West through them would have been a welcomed angle After reading this book I now see blue differently It is certainly much luminous.

  2. says:

    Argh I wrote a 300 word review for this book and it was eaten by the GR popup Will rewrite In two words blue rocks And there are other colors too.La guerre entre guede rt garance a t gagn par indigo

  3. says:

    fascinating did you know Europeans never wore blue until the Middle Ages or later not for everyone it s a specialized subject I think you have to like history and or art Lavishly illustrated.

  4. says:

    Who would have thought that the color blue was not only hated but not named, or tolerated until the 14th century Prior to that time it was thought to be a hot color Now it is considered to be a cool color It was culturally and socially unacceptable to wear blue Today, most people prefer blue to any other color Our culture accepts it primarily due to the unversal acceptance of blue jeans beginning with Levi Strauss in the 1850s Red, white and black were the only recognized colors for centuries The Indigo dye for a deep, rich, vibrant blue was too expensive to ship from the middle east Only when artists painted the Virgin did blue become and acceptable over time The book is full of exquisite color pictures and historical descriptions The price of this book at the local book store is 270 which indicates how well thought out and laid out this book was published It is a fascinating and entertaining story about a simple color and the cultures and societies that impacted it throughout Western history.

  5. says:

    Lovely overview of the emergence of blue as an important color in medieval Europe an of its changes of connotations up to the modern period, when blue constitutes the most neutral color.

  6. says:

    Blue was a color the Romans associated with barbarism It is rarely found in bronze age art Many medieval artists preferred to depict water as green rather than blue Why How, when it was so rare throughout history, did blue come to be the most common color in the world today How and why did various laws try to prohibit the creation of certain colors Why did the color blue become associated with the Virgin These are the questions that M Pastoureau answers in this sumptuously illustrated history.

  7. says:

    I just realized I had never posted this Unlikely as it seems, this coffee table book was a fascinating look at how blue came to be the most popular color among artists and in society, and taught me for the first time that there were sumptuary laws in various nations at various times designed to restrict the type and color of clothing commoners could wear so they didn t compete with the raiment of royalty As I recall, one factoid was that the popularity of black and white for men s clothing, still epitomized in the tuxedo, came from sumptuary laws that restricted wealthy merchants to those colors.

  8. says:

    The story of a color is, of course, the story of how humans perceive that color and, comparatively, other colors It was fascinating to read about the lack of mention in early records of the color we know as blue The color blue seemed to arise out of a growing human perception of color, of the color wheel, and ofthe development of dyeing techniques.Superstitions, and belief systems played an important part in establishing a color hierarchy in fashion in the 13th century, when this book begins it s history The influence of religion and politics continues with some effect to this day.The story of dye discoveries, using woad in the earliest years of blue colorizing and then indigo as a brighter, resilient dye, and also, who had access to the colorants is, again, a story of humanity and civilization In the late 19th and early 20th century, while France was insistant on having blue uniforms for it s soldiers, England controlled most of the supply of indigo The French government compromised and gave their troops blue coats but bright red trousers The heavy human losses in French military campaigns into World War 1 have been blamed on their soldiers visibility in the field.This study of blue diverges weirdly into several pages on the history of the French flag and a couple of it s competitors Blue, may I remind you, comprises only a third of the French flag True, the author is French, but as much time could have been spent on the British, the US, the Czech, the Russian, or any other tricolored flag.I picked up this book because blue is my favorite color The book concludes that blue is about half the world s favorite color, so I, or you, if you share this characteristic, should feel so special.I found the final sentences oddly philosophical, if not judgemental After a discourse on how the color blue evolved in human perception from a warm color to a cold color, and how that change might have occurred with the growing use of blue to signify bodies of water on maps, rather than the green used in the earliest maps, the author concludes In the collective imagination and daily life, however, it took quite a while for water to become blue, and for blue to become cold Cold like our contemporary Western societies, for which blue is at once the emblem, symbol, and favorite color.

  9. says:

    The author begins this history with audacious claims about the irrelevance p.10 of human biology to the process of ascribing meaning to color , insisting instead that color is a social phenomenon The author does a fine job illustrating the second claim throughout the book, showing how attitudes towards colors change over time with changes in religious belief and social practices But the first, audacious claim has to be false There is ample evidence that the structure of color perception is dependent on the fact that humans are trichromats, and that facts about color opposition red is opposed to green, blue to yellow are due to the role of opponent processes in the human visual system And biological facts, like genetic color deficiencies, surely affect the meaning of colors for those with the deficiencies There are other weird gaps in the book s scholarship as well There are brief discussions of opinion polls that try to determine what our favorite color is, but there is no discussion of Komar and Melamed s famous Most Wanted survey of world aesthetic tastes, which concluded that blue was the favorite color of majorities in most countries The book offers evidence that black, white and red were the primary color categories of the ancient world, with blue not figuring in treatises on color, even when describing the colors of the rainbow That interestingly confirms the famous claims by anthropologists Berlin Kay and Kay McDaniel that there is a specific pattern to the development of color vocabulary whereby blue is always a later basic color term than black , white and red But there is no mention of Kay Berlin s work in relation to the interesting historical fact about ancient color terms There is also a near total focus on European, and in the post medieval period, French, attitudes and practices with regard to color the author is French During an extended discussion of the significance of different colors during the French Revolution, and in particular the tricolor, the author says It is easy to imagine that if the British flag had not been red, white, and blue, that of the American Revolution would not have been either, and therefore neither the French Revolution, nor the Empire or Republic that followed, would have used these colors To understand the American and French flags, then, WE MUST GO BACK TO THE ORIGINS OF THE BRITISH FLAG, which was already red, white, and blue in the early seventeenth century p.148 But then the author only spends TWO sentences explaining the origins of the British flag, before returning to an extended discussion of the color of cockades in the French Revolution I thought the British flag was important, because the author just told me it was

  10. says:

    While this book is full of pictures, it is very imformative It discusses the history of color pigment, use and maeaning, and not only of the color blue For example red was made from madder, a rusty red, and was the most common with yellow and black till the middle ages Purple came from sea urchins and blue from lapis rocks.Very interesting, and since its translated from the original French, I d like to know just how Euro centric it is.

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