Green: The History of a Color

Princeton Univ. 2014. 240p. tr. from French by Jody Gladding. photos. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780691159362. $35. FINE ARTS
Green with envy? Greenback? Babar green? What does the color green mean to you? Continuing the saga of the history of colors (previous titles include Blue and Black), Pastoureau, a historian at the Sorbonne, chronicles the color green as told through the social and culture history of western Europe. Readers journey through this bipolar color's varied meanings, such as life, luck, destiny, happiness, and money, as well as its flip side of the devil, poison, witches, treachery, and betrayal, which depended on the period, society, and technology being used to create the color. While the book focuses on western European cultures, Islam is briefly mentioned. One wonders if a global history might have made for a better book.
VERDICT A charming study, filled with numerous photos and illustrations. This book will be of great interest to those fascinated by history, culture, and design.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing