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date: 21 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

As well as being a highly significant and potentially symbolic phenomenon in medieval visual culture, colour was a serious topic for the learned concerned with its physical nature and means of perception. This article discusses the relationship between philosophical and theoretical understandings of colour and the use of colour in objects which survive in the archaeological record. In order to do this four classes of artefact are used as case-studies, namely: wall-paintings, clothing, illuminated manuscripts, and ceramics. It is clear that while use of colour was always contextual and informed by practical matters such as cost of dyestuffs medieval colour theories played an important role in everyday use of colour.

Keywords: wall-painting, colour-theory, clothing, ceramics, illuminated manuscript

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