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The Principles of Harmony and Contrast of Colors: and Their Applications to the Arts

The Principles of Harmony and Contrast of Colors: and Their Applications to the Arts

M.E. Chevreul with new material by Faber Birren

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This monumental masterwork by the renowned nineteenth century scientist and authority on color, M.E. Chevreul, is unquestionably one of the greatest books ever written on color; the first English translation is reprinted here with the original color restored and an introduction and explanatory notes by Faber Birren, the leading color authority of the present time. Chevreul’s book dominated the schools of Impressionism and Neo-Impressionism, and exerted profound influence on later schools of painting including today’s Op Art. Chevreul set forth principles that have become basic in color training throughout the Western world. In his illuminating commentary Mr. Birren shows how many of Chevreul’s ideas on color harmony, contrast effects, optical mixtures, and legibility have been validated by modern scientific research in visual perception. mr. Birren also provides a helpful glossary of Chevreul’s terminology. Lavishly illustrated, the volume contains many color plates, including 15 plates from the original French edition, photographs of Gobelins tapestries, and full-page reproductions of outstanding Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist paintings. Essential as a reference book for artist and art educators, this volume will also be a source of fresh inspiration for fashion designers, interior decorators, and all others concerned with color in any medium-and it makes good reading for all those interested in the history of men and ideas.

Size: 9″ x 12″ | 43 color & 5 b/w photos | 256 pp
ISBN13: 9780887400902 | Binding: hard cover

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Faber Birren is today’s foremost authority on color. He has written hundreds of articles on color, and more than 20 books, among them, Creative Color and Color Perception in Art (Schiffer 1986, 1987).