Tuesday, May 13, 2014

800-Page Book Catalogued Colors Centuries Before Pantone

In 1961, during the heyday of color printing, Pantone rose up to standardize colors. A standardized color would be identical on the page no matter what printing house anywhere in the world might actually do the physical printing. But now it seems that the esteemed company and color institute were not the first on the scene. In 1692, Dutch artist A. Boogert set out to described the mixing and altering of shades in watercolor paints, and in doing so created a manual of 800 pages that indexed all the colors available by tone and strength (he added more and more water to make his watercolors paler and more translucent).

The full manual was meant as a teaching and educational tool for artists, but since the color "chips" were painstakingly hand-prepared, only one copy was ever finished, which now resides in Bibliothèque Méjanes in Aix-en-Provence, France.

Hunter Communications Original News Source:
This is Colossal

Link to article:
271 Years Before Pantone

Excerpt: "In 1692 an artist known only as “A. Boogert” sat down to write a book in Dutch about mixing watercolors. Not only would he begin the book with a bit about the use of color in painting, but would go on to explain how to create certain hues and change the tone by adding one, two, or three parts of water. The premise sounds simple enough, but the final product is almost unfathomable in its detail and scope.

Spanning nearly 800 completely handwritten (and painted) pages, Traité des couleurs servant à la peinture à l’eau, was probably the most comprehensive guide to paint and color of its time. According to Medieval book historian Erik Kwakkel who translated part of the introduction, the color book was intended as an educational guide. The irony being there was only a single copy that was probably seen by very few eyes.

It’s hard not to compare the hundreds of pages of color to its contemporary equivalent, the Pantone Color Guide, which wouldn’t be published for the first time until 1963."

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