More on Color – WERNER’S NOMENCLATURE OF COLOURS by P. Syme

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This beautiful little book, first published in 1814, reprinted by Smithsonian Books in 2018, is a wonder. Based on the work of Abraham Gottlob Werner, it is a book to be explored, more than read. It was designed to provide standardized descriptions and representations of color to be used across the arts and sciences. Honestly, I just love holding it in my hands. The brief explanatory text is followed by “COMPONENT PARTS of THE COLOURS”, which involves a brief description, followed by a sample of the color, and where it can be found in nature. For example –

44. Lavendar Purple, the lavendar blue of Werner, is composed of blue, red, and a little brown and gray. Found in – Animal – Light Parts of Spots on the under Wings of the Peacock Butterfly; Plant – Dried Lavendar Flowers; Mineral – Porcelain Jasper

72. Wine Yellow, is sulphur yellow mixed with reddish brown and gray, with much snow white. Found in – Animal – Body of Silk Moth; Plant – White Currants; Mineral – Saxen Topaz

Pure pleasure if one is into thinking about, dreaming about color.

 

 

7 comments on “More on Color – WERNER’S NOMENCLATURE OF COLOURS by P. Syme”

  1. You have told me you are a lover of color so this seems very fitting šŸ™‚ I am enjoying the colors of winter here in Calif – lots of green grass against gray sky.

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    1. Ahhh, green is only a memory here. With the exception of the ponderosa and juniper, dark in this gray light, everything is dun or dusky gray.

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    1. Barbara, yes, yes, yes to color. And even though I am not a painter, by interaction with color is visceral. So great pleasure in this book. And, in looking over your friend’s work!

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  2. What an absolutely lovely book. Love the two examples you gave us…and thank you for those. These connections make me want to go into a flurry of internet searching: peacock butterfly, porcelain jasper, silk moth, white currants, saxen topaz. I mean really–“the light parts of spots on the underwings?” Just to think of that.

    I think I found the same thing Barbara did at a different web address: https://www.c82.net/werner/#preface. Thanks, JNaz!

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    1. Yes, this webiste is fabulous. I must admit to an almost physical fascination with color, so these descriptions just hum for me.

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