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Naturally Brilliant Colour

Naturally Brilliant Colour

Current price: $35.00
Publication Date: February 15th, 2022
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
The MIT Press Bookstore
2 on hand, as of Nov 30 10:32am
On Our Shelves Now


The first book to showcase art made using nature’s most powerfully intense colors.
For thousands of years, the raw materials of the natural world have supplied the vivid colors found in art, with hues drawn from sources including metal ores, plant roots, and even animal waste. Naturally Brilliant Colour showcases the debut of a new frontier in botanically derived pigment: Pure Structural Color, found in the metallic shimmer of marble berries and the wings of certain hummingbirds and butterflies, and widely considered the brightest color visible to the human eye.

Art and science collide, with dazzling results, in the works showcased here, which were all created by scientist, author, and artist Andrew Parker using Pure Structural Color. In addition, this eye-popping book traces the biological story of how this type of color evolved simultaneously with the organs of the optical system itself, a conjunction mirrored in the patterns and visual effects of the art collected within. Illustrated with sixty vibrant images, Naturally Brilliant Colour opens our eyes to reveal that the world of color is more complex and sophisticated than previously imagined.

About the Author

Andrew Parker is a senior fellow at the University of Oxford and the author of numerous books, including Seven Deadly Colors and In the Blink of an Eye.