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"Labelling Ball a science writer sells his writing short, for its value lies above all in a range that dissolves the awkward silences between science and the larger culture of which it is part." Marek Kohn - The Independent



Bright Earth cover - rreissued by Bodley Head in 2008 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. 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.

Reissued by Bodley Head in 2008


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Bright Earth - USA cover



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