Now live! The ChromoBase, our colour database

The ChromoBase is the database of the ERC project CHROMOTOPE which explores the cultural impact of the new colours that appeared in the 1850s.

The ChromoBase is the open access database of our ERC project CHROMOTOPE. Drawing on this research, the ChromoBase shows how the colouring materials and techniques which were invented in the 1850s brought about new ways of thinking about colour in literature, art, and the history of science and technology. The extraordinary story of this 19th-century “Colour Revolution” is told through a series of interwoven interdisciplinary “narratives” written by colour experts from all over the world. In keeping with the innovative methodology devised by the CHROMOTOPE team and thanks to the institutional collaboration between Sorbonne Université, the University of Oxford and the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM), the Chromobase has three objectives:

  1. To reveal the literary and artistic impact of new scientific approaches to chromatic materiality in the second half of the 19th century. See “Colour Materiality”.
  2. To show how the international exhibitions of this period shaped the new colourful landscapes of modernity. See “Colour Scape
  3. To understand how the invention of industrial dyes demanded/required new forms of “colour education”. See “Colour Pedagogy

Focusing on the chromatic “turn” of 1851 to 1867, the ChromoBase explores the impact of the synthetic dye revolution on the cultural history of Europe in the nineteenth century.

If you wish to contribute a colour narrative to our ChromoBase, please submit your topic, biography and CV to the editors (chromotope(at)gmail(dot)com).


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