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Green…the history of a color

"Green.....has been ambivalent: a symbol of life, luck and hope, but also disorder, greed, poison and the devil." so the book jacket claims.


The Arnolfini Wedding by Jan Van Eyck, 1434

Today, no matter what, when you say GREEN it is almost always viewed as something positive. If you are describing someone's attitude toward the environment, a way of living, your favorite green juice at JUICE PRESS or those fabulous emerald beads you bought in India last year, they are all very good GREEN things.


The Romanian Green Blouse by Henri Matisse, Morgan-le-Fay by Frederick Sandys and Lucretia by Paolo Veronese

This story of a color is a history long on anecdotes.  From prehistoric times to today, we learn why green is associated with Islam, the Bauhaus attitude toward green, and why it was connected to Nero. Just like stock market swings, colors have their high and low periods, and like fashion, one day you're the NEWS, next season a vague memory.

Green-End-Cover Green-Babar


green: the history of a color
Michel Pastoureau
Princeton University Press, 2014.