Philip Ball
Bright Earth: Art and the Bright Invention of Color

from the publisher:
This book investigates how the invention of new pigments and colouring materials since times of antiquity have affected the course of Western art. The creative potential of painters has always been constrained by the colours on their palette. Several major innovations in art, such as the Venetian style of painting during the Renaissance and the emergence of Impressionism in the late nineteenth century, can be linked directly to the availability of new pigments. Often neglected in studies of art history, the materials of the artist provide a new perspective on how art has evolved and how science, commerce, industry and art have interacted throughout the centuries. Includes 66 full color plates.