By now, many have seen the images of a 1692 watercolor mixing book unknown to most of the art world for the better part of three centuries. The Dutch artist known only as A. Boogert created this masterpiece 271 years BEFORE Pantone ever thought of a “color of the year” and the marketing and merchandising possibilities that one color could yield. Boogert’s 800 page hand-made book details how to mix colors, hues and shades created by adding 1,2, or 3 parts of water. The book was created as an educational guide with a loosely translated title from medieval french as Treaty of colors used to water paint. 

Erik Kwakkel, a medieval book historian in the Netherlands, discovered the presence of the book on a french library database earlier this year.

The entire book is available in high resolution images on this site – eCorpus

The book is currently housed at the Bibliothèque Méjanes in Aix-en-Provence, France and Erik Kwakkel has written that the book is just beginning to be studied by art historians and will be the subject of a doctoral dissertation from the Netherlands to be published in 2015.

The book has been discussed on art forums, yahoo groups and displayed on art sites such as colossal and gizmodo.

See also Jacqueline’s May 2014 Studio Letter ~ The Color Edition

Chris Wachsmuth

for Jacqueline Sullivan