The last 150 years has brought about the greatest revolution there's ever been in colour. How have we ended up living in a hyper-coloured world?
But that's not going to stop Dr. James Fox from trying.
James is an art historian at the University of Cambridge, a curator, an award-winning broadcaster and the author of bestselling book The World According to Colour. He's joining us in The Garden to answer the most fascinating questions we could think to ask him about colour.
The last 150 years or so has been the greatest revolution ever in the history of colour. The birth of modern science and mass production has meant we have been able to create more colours than have ever existed before. Colour has become so common, and so cheap, that most of us take it for granted.
A few centuries ago, a basic box of crayons, with its hues lined up like a rainbow, would have sent emperors and alchemists into raptures; nowadays, it can barely even keep a toddler occupied.
How is today's technicoloured world different from the world our ancestors inhabited? And what's next for the world according to colour?Read this talk's transcript
30 minute talk
20 minute Member Q&A
Colour is an experience: the colours we see and what they mean to us will differ for every human on the planet. What can art history, science, anthropology, literature and politics teach us about colour?
Until relatively recently in human history, there wasn't a word meaning "blue". Of the ancient cultures, only the Egyptians had a word for this colour. What was everyone else seeing?
The colour white has been associated with purity for millennia in religious iconography, architecture and art. But has it come to represent something darker too?