300 year old color book

Do you use Pantone ?

As Pantone states:

Pantone Provides A Universal Language Of Color That Enables Color-Critical Decisions Through Every Stage Of The Workflow For Brands And Manufacturers.

They started in 1963, when printing company Pantone Inc. revolutionized the game with the world's first color matching system. But they were not the first...

300 years earlier, in the (golden) 17th century, a Dutchman who is only known as "A. Boogert" made a book about colors in the art of painting.

And not just any book: 800 pages with all the colors he could think of. And each color variation he made by hand.

He added descriptions on how to make a color, written with a pencil and ink.

Isn't that remarkable?

This unique book was created to demonstrate how watercolors can be manipulated to make and change colors.

The concept of mixing your own colors as an introduction to color theory will be familiar to any first-semester art student, but Boogert's example is remarkable for its thoroughness. He filled about 800 pages with every imaginable example.

This book was not a means of referencing fashion trends or your next shade of lipstick.

It seems more educational and even very practical. Where Pantone wants you to buy as many color swatches and books as possible, Boogert wanted to show how to make your own colors. More like a DIY for painters.

Made in the Golden Age of Dutch painting. Would Rembrandt and Vermeer ever have seen this book?

As with Pantone, many shades of color are meticulously worked out. This book is a unique copy in the possession of Bibliothèque Méjanes in Aix-en-Provence, France.

In addition to the hundreds of color renderings, Boogert had also made room for his own painting illustrations.

A bit silly that a library employee thought it necessary to put a red library stamp on it (see top right).


Fascinating, isn't it? What a job it must have been. And amazing, this copy has been preserved.

The best thing is, you can browse all the available pages of this coloring book HERE.

Back to our color reality. So happy, we can make the color palettes and our Color Concept digitally. And printing the 200 copies in one day...
As we don't print extra copies, it also is a very limited edition 😉

Go to the webshop to get yours, before it's gone!

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