Colour:Travels through the Paintbox
It wasn't easy though, Finlay had to travel far and wide to try to find the information she wanted. Was cow's urine really an ingredient of Indian Yellow? Why was purple an imperial colour, and where did it come from? And why was blue used so sparingly in old paintings? Then there's red, the colour of blood, and as such red ochre plays a significant part in Australian Aboriginal ceremonies. The red colour of cochineal really is blood - of an insect.
Finlay writes well, and the central theme of colour provides an excellent framework to hold together the fascinating tales of her quests. Whether you like reading travel books or are looking for information about the origins of the colours you find in your paintbox, you won't be disappointed with this book.
Note: The US version of this book has the subtitle A Natural History of the Palette