Nature's Palette: A Color Reference System from the Natural World Spiral-Bound | May 18, 2021

Patrick Baty, Elaine Charwat (Contributions by), Peter Davidson (Contributions by), André Karliczek (Contributions by), Giulia Simonini (Contributions by)

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A gorgeous expanded edition of Werner's Nomenclature of Colours, a landmark reference book on color and its origins in nature

First published in 1814, Werner's Nomenclature of Colours is a taxonomically organized guide to color in the natural world. Compiled by German geologist Abraham Gottlob Werner, the book was expanded and enhanced in 1821 by Patrick Syme, who added color swatches and further color descriptions, bringing the total number of classified hues to 110. The resulting resource has been invaluable not only to artists and designers but also to zoologists, botanists, mineralogists, anatomists, and explorers, including Charles Darwin on the famous voyage of the Beagle.

Nature's Palette makes this remarkable volume available to today's readers, and is now fully enhanced with new illustrations of all the animals, plants, and minerals Werner referenced alongside each color swatch. Readers can see "tile red" in a piece of porcelain jasper, the breast of a cock bullfinch, or a Shrubby Pimpernel. They can admire "Berlin blue" on a piece of sapphire, the Hepatica flower, or the wing feathers of a jay. Interspersed throughout the book are lavish feature pages displaying cases of taxidermy, eggs, shells, feathers, minerals, and butterflies, with individual specimens cross-referenced to the core catalog.

Featuring contributions by leading natural history experts along with more than 1,000 color illustrations and eight gatefolds, Nature's Palette is the ideal illustrated reference volume for visual artists, naturalists, and anyone who is captivated by color.

Publisher: Princeton University Press
Original Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 0691217041
Item Weight: 2.11 lbs
Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.86 x 10.5 inches
Customer Reviews: 4 out of 5 stars 31 to 100 ratings
"[Nature’s Palette] is filled with hundreds of lushly detailed, full-color 18th- and 19th- century engravings that exquisitely illustrate Werner and Syme’s complete animal, botanical, and mineral references, along with informative essays and additional visual material, color charts, anatomical diagrams, and photos of rainbow-colored butterflies, eggs, and beetles. Although Werner and Syme’s system has faded from use, it still teaches us to look closely at the world around us."---Lauren Moya Ford, Hyperallergic
Patrick Baty is the author of The Anatomy of Colour and the owner of Papers and Paints, a specialist paint business in London. Twitter @patrickbaty Elaine Charwat is a doctoral researcher at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Peter Davidson is senior curator of minerals at National Museums Scotland. André Karliczek is a member of the German Optical Museum and part of cultur3D, a project that models cultural assets in 3D. Giulia Simonini is a conservator, paleographer, and art historian.