Spanning thousands of years, travel through the story of pigments and their incredible journeys from across the globe.

Tales of dragons & beetles, alchemy & poisons, slaves & pirates, from the ancient world to the present come alive in this book on colour’s creation.

This voyage of discovery features pigments made from deadly metals, poisonous minerals, urine, dung, crushed insects and predatory sea snails. Raw materials were burnt, boiled or reacted with dangerous acids. Colours were drawn out of nature itself; tree saps, flowers, leaves and roots. The ingenuity of mankind to fashion colour out of dirt lead to the magnificence of Medieval manuscripts, the art of the Renaissance, and the expressions of 20th-century Modernism.

Originally created as a museum exhibition in June 2017 in Melbourne, displaying over 200 pigments and their source materials, it offered visitors the unique opportunity to see the origins of colour and the stories behind their invention.