Kermit the Frog said “It’s not easy being green.” And speaking of things being green and easy, Michel Pastoureau’s Green: The History of a Color came out this past August. You may recognize Michel from other riveting stories such as Black: The History of a Color and Blue: The history of a Color. The book is an interesting look at how this sometimes forgotten hue has been perceived throughout history in art, fashion and culture.
Trained as a medievalist, Pastoureau argues that the history of color is an “altogether more vast” subject than the history of painting, and this book’s concerns range from Latin etymologies to the green neon crosses that hang outside modern French pharmacies.
I personally have not read the book, yet. Some of the reviews have come back raving about the insight and ease of the read. Other reviews make this book sound about as popular as the plague. We would love to know if anyone has read it and their thoughts. I’m told if you do pick up a copy, you’ll glean why green was associated with the Roman emperor Nero, why Goethe believed it was the color of the middle class, why Judas often appears in green in paintings and why Wassily Kandinsky and the Bauhaus rejected the color. Sounds interesting enough to me.