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Werner's Nomenclature of Colours


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About the Author

Abraham Gottlob Werner (1749-817) was an eminent mineralogist and geologist. His 1774 book On the External Characteristics of Minerals included a classification of colours which was widely used by natural philosophers until well into the 19th century. Patrick Syme (1774-845) was an Edinburgh painter and art teacher. He was introduced to Werner's system of colours by the great Scottish naturalist Robert Jameson, a former student of Werner who went on to tutor the young Charles Darwin. Jameson used mineral samples to reconstruct Werner's colours, and these formed the basis of Syme's colour swatches, which are faithfully reproduced in this book.


'This is a fascinating historic document that grabs the attention much more than you would expect.' The Artist

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