Thursday, May 5, 2011

Red Reading

I just started a book called "A Perfect Red", all about the history of red. It is so fascinating! It's not new -- it's from 2005 maybe? Besides being about red, it has the most amazing information about textiles, and dyers, society with regard to color, society with regard to dyers--I found that probably the most fascinating. Dyers were considered second class citizens, even though people paid thousands to wear the Bright Colors they made. They were apprenticed for years to learn the secrets, and only a precious few really made it to the top. But at the same time people looked down their noses at dyers, they were also coveted by their cities--the great dyers of Lucca that fled to Venice actually had prices on their heads for taking the secrets out of the city, although their city was torn by war. (Incidentally that also happened to glassblowers who tried to leave Murano in Venice---they would chop their hands off. Those Italians did not like to share their Craftsmen...)

Back to the History Lesson--so get this--there used to be something called "sumptuary laws". What is that? They are literally laws on how sumptuous your lifestyle could be according to Who you Were or Were Not. Like if you were a Serving Wench, no sleeves or silks or jewels for you. Isn't that nuts? I always believed that they just couldn't afford the nice things--when you see movies and the help is all in greys or black. There were LAWS that said they couldn't wear color.

No pic today---and sorry for the School Girl Writes A Paper tone to this Post!

Go look at some Red and really think about it!

No comments:

Post a Comment