Incredible Hand-Painted Color Swatch Book

May 7, 2014

Click on the link to see the full post.


Above: Pages from the incredible color mixing book handwritten and hand painted by A. Boogert in 1692. (From the collection of the Bibliothèque Méjanes.)

My design friends are always finding the most amazing things on the internet. Today one sent me a link to a post on This Is Collossal about A. Boogert who in 1692 wrote an 800-page book by hand—and painted it by hand as well. The pages are filled with color swatches—an exercise in explaining how to create hues and tones by adding different degrees of water.

Go read 271 Years Before Pantone, an Artist Mixed and Described Every Color Imaginable in an 800-Page Book at this link. There you'll find links to view the entire book on line and other information.

If you're not a designer and don't know what Pantone is you can click here.

The book is an incredible feat. I wonder what this artist was like, temperamentally, and intellectually what drove the artist.

And as I look at the pages I keep saying to myself, "And the artist didn't have any masking tape!"

  1. Reply

    Oh Roz, surely he used candle wax as a resist…or something… those boxes are TOO perfect or the author was amazing beyond imagination.

  2. Reply

    CaptElaine, I don’t think so, I look at the pages (and yes size isn’t ideal for forensics) but I don’t see any evidence of a wax (clear) border. He might have used some gum concoction but there was no rubber at that time so I don’t know exactly what that would have been. It is pretty amazing all round.

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