The Color That Wasn’t a Color by Ann Landi … In art, black was never basic

Lorenzo Lotto. Portrait of a Young Man against a White Curtain, ca. 1508. ©AKG/ERICH LESSING

Of all the colors artists have had at their command throughout the ages, none has endured more reversals of fortune than black. Indeed, in his book Black: The History of a Color, published by Princeton University Press, historian Michel Pastoureau points out that for a few centuries after Isaac Newton’s discovery of the spectrum, around 1665, “black and white were considered and experienced as ‘noncolors.’

… for the first time in history, according to Pastoureau, polls place black “in the middle of the gamut” of the six major hues.

Read on for  Ann Landi’s article in Art News

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~ by The Gallery Goddess on December 5, 2011.

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