Nature’s Palette: A Colour Reference System from the Natural World
Patrick Baty (Ed.)
Thames & Hudson, 2021
First published in 1814, Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours is a taxonomically organized guide to color in the natural world. Compiled by German geologist Abraham Gottlob Werner, the book was expanded and enhanced in 1821 by Patrick Syme, who added color swatches and further color descriptions, bringing the total number of classified hues to 110. The resulting resource has been invaluable not only to artists and designers but also to zoologists, botanists, mineralogists, anatomists, and explorers, including Charles Darwin on the famous voyage of the Beagle.
Nature’s Palette makes this remarkable volume available to today’s readers, and is now fully enhanced with new illustrations of all the animals, plants, and minerals Werner referenced alongside each color swatch. Readers can see “tile red” in a piece of porcelain jasper, the breast of a cock bullfinch, or a Shrubby Pimpernel. They can admire “Berlin blue” on a piece of sapphire, the Hepatica flower, or the wing feathers of a jay. Interspersed throughout the book are lavish feature pages displaying cases of taxidermy, eggs, shells, feathers, minerals, and butterflies, with individual specimens cross-referenced to the core catalog.
Featuring contributions by leading natural history experts along with more than 1,000 color illustrations and eight gatefolds, Nature’s Palette is the ideal illustrated reference volume for visual artists, naturalists, and anyone who is captivated by color.