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The Key of GreenPassion and Perception in Renaissance Culture$
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Bruce R. Smith

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226763781

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226763811.001.0001

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Green Stuff

Green Stuff

Chapter:
(p.44) Chapter Two Green Stuff
Source:
The Key of Green
Author(s):

Bruce R. Smith

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226763811.003.0003

When Philip Howard came into his inheritance as 13th Earl of Arundel in 1580, he ordered a full inventory of the contents of Arundel Castle in Sussex to be drawn up. The castle's furnishings ranged from wall hangings to, window cloths, carpets, bed curtains, valences, quilts, counterpanes, bolsters, pillows, and cushions. Many large objects like wall hangings, carpets, and curtains were colored green. The high proportion of green stuff in the 1580 Arundel inventory was not, it seems, atypical, even for households smaller in size and further down the social scale. This chapter examines the material history of green, beginning with the green furnishings that sixteenth-century people of certain means seem to have enjoyed having around them and proceeding through climate and flora, land forms, Aristotle's physics of color, pigments and dyestuffs, alchemy, ancient and modern theories of vision, and Galenic psychology.

Keywords:   Aristotle, material history, green, furnishings, climate, pigments, color, vision, psychology, alchemy

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