2 Audley Square
Mayfair, London W1K
Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and
Music.Hockney “I prefer living in colours”
The very term ‘colour’ is used differently in the C21st. This course traces the fascinating history of pigments: where they came from, how they were created, and how they have changed the course of art history. It’s a story that will take us from a single mine in Afghanistan to the serendipitous discovery of a fraudulent alchemist in Berlin to a contemporary patent for the blackest black imaginable. We’ll consider both the materiality of colours – for instance, the impact of ‘fugitive’ pigments and dyes that disappear in time – and their shifting symbolism in different cultural contexts. Re-discover paintings you thought you knew by seeing them digitally returned to their ‘real’ colours and forge new connections between artists.
“Green made of copper, even when this colour is mixed with oil, loses its beauty like smoke if it is not quickly varnished”
The Chinese associate green (and black) with the female Yin – the passive and receiving principle; Islam venerates it as paradise. But what was taboo about green in the Medieval period? And why was green blamed for child death? Discover a host of greens including verdigris, Egyptian and emerald greens and how these were used by Renaissance masters like Duccio and Michelangelo, the Pre-Raphaelite artists, and the Impressionists and post-Impressionists like Cézanne.