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Open Access Red, White and Black: Colors of Beauty, Tints of Health and Cosmetic Materials in Early Modern English Art Writing


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Red, White and Black: Colors of Beauty, Tints of Health and Cosmetic Materials in Early Modern English Art Writing


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Alongside Richard Haydocke’s translation of Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo’s treatise on painting (1598), the article examines concepts of color concerning cosmetics, painting and complexion as they relate to aesthetics, artistic and medical practice in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Beginning with white and red as ideal colors of beauty in Agnolo Firenzuola’s Discourse on the beauty of women (1541), the essay places color in relation to major issues in art, medicine and empiricism by discussing beauty as a quality of humoral theory and its colors as visual results of physiological processes. Challenging the relation of art and nature, gender and production, Lomazzo’s account of complexion and Haydocke’s additions on cosmetic practices and face-painting provide key passages that shed light on the relation of cosmetics colors, art writing and artistic practices at the convergence of the body, art and medicine in the context of the emerging English virtuosi around 1600.


Affiliations: 1: University of Salzburg
romana.sammern@sbg.ac.at


Alongside Richard Haydocke’s translation of Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo’s treatise on painting (1598), the article examines concepts of color concerning cosmetics, painting and complexion as they relate to aesthetics, artistic and medical practice in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Beginning with white and red as ideal colors of beauty in Agnolo Firenzuola’s Discourse on the beauty of women (1541), the essay places color in relation to major issues in art, medicine and empiricism by discussing beauty as a quality of humoral theory and its colors as visual results of physiological processes. Challenging the relation of art and nature, gender and production, Lomazzo’s account of complexion and Haydocke’s additions on cosmetic practices and face-painting provide key passages that shed light on the relation of cosmetics colors, art writing and artistic practices at the convergence of the body, art and medicine in the context of the emerging English virtuosi around 1600.


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/content/journals/10.1163/15733823-02046p05
2015-12-07
2017-11-20

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