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Significant Red: Watercolour and the Uses of Red Pigments in Military and Architectural Conventions

Abstract : The use of watercolour red proved especially disconcerting for seventeenth- and eighteenth century artists: it came in a wide range of costs, and with a dizzying list of names and shades according to the pigments used. On the economic and aesthetic choice the painter made also depended the staying power of the finished product. The cause of significant anxieties, it was nonetheless the reigning colour, not only because of the modern discovery of its primary status, but also because of traditional significance attached to it in the book industry, as well as in conventional architectural and military representations. This paper investigates what red signified, how its elusive powers were slowly tamed by modern standardization, and what its conventional uses meant for the European-wide dissemination of uninventive watercolour practices.
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Contributor : Bénédicte Miyamoto <>
Submitted on : Friday, January 4, 2019 - 5:09:59 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 3:39:21 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, April 5, 2019 - 3:05:01 PM


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  • HAL Id : halshs-01970069, version 1



Bénédicte Miyamoto. Significant Red: Watercolour and the Uses of Red Pigments in Military and Architectural Conventions. XVII-XVIII Revue de la Société d'études anglo-américaines des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles , Société d'études anglo-américaines des dix-septième et dix-huitième siècles, Lille, 2019, La Couleur, 75. ⟨halshs-01970069⟩



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