Style Court

Nine Years of Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes

11.22.2009

A Perfect Red

Amy Butler Greenfield's critically acclaimed book, A Perfect Red, deserves a second mention. I've just started reading her dramatic history of the color and the potent natural red dye, cochineal, that caused such a sensation centuries ago. Now when I look at all of the red in Elle Decor's December issue -- especially Miguel Flores-Vianna's photographs of Miles Redd's project -- I see new things. Greenfield really succeeds in explaining why the color inspires such passion. So the book would be a great addition to everyone's personal design library.

While taking a glance at the bookshelves in the Redd interior, I noticed a tome on 15th century painter Jan van Eyck. Interestingly, it is van Eyck's Portrait of a Man that was chosen for the cover of Greenfield's book. Specifically, a detail of the dramatic red headdress.

Credits: clockwise from the top left: library designed by Miles Redd, photo by Miguel Flores-Vianna; pillows from Yastik by Rifat Ozbek; book jacket for A Perfect Red; the cover of Elle Decor, December 2009, interior design by Miles Redd, photo by Miguel Flores-Vianna; my own ribbons; a screen grab from Bright Star, costume design by Janet Patterson; Turkish medallion rug, cover of Hali, winter 2008; notions from French General; Jan van Eyck's Portrait of a Man, the National Gallery; from Elle Decor, December 2009 a photo by William Waldron.

Click picture to enlarge.

13 comments:

little augury said...

Love this collage. I have this in a stack to read.Maybe time to unearth it. la

Lindsey Conrad - Nabors said...

I have just added some red accents in my living room. I just love the color red - it makes me feel good! That book sounds so interesting! I may have to add that to my Christmas list! And I will be sure to pick up the new issue of Elle Decor!! The room on the cover is gorgeous!!!

La Petite Gallery said...

Very lovely post.

yvonne

Style Court said...

LA, glad you like it. There are so many great books out there it can be kind of overwhelming. I read a bit on Amy's site about her motivation -- very inspiring.

Style Court said...

LPG and Lindsey -- thanks for stopping by. Nice to hear that you like the red too.

Clint Smith said...

love the red

Ms. Wis./Each Little World said...

Very instructive to look at the three different covers for the red book. I love the title in Dutch!

Southern Aspirations said...

Recently posted on red (I was missing it in home decor!) and afterwards the Elle Decor cover really struck me. Such gorgeous shades out there and I'm interested in learning more about the history for even more appreciation.

Thank you!!

JBeaudetStudios said...

I'm loving red right now! Thanks!

Janet said...

Red has been...and always will be my favorite color!

DawnofArt said...

Red in the time of van Eyck had nothing to do with desire. Red was considered the color of Christ's sacrifice -- "washed in the blood of Christ" -- and represented the sacrament of confession. Brides in the 15th century wore red gowns and marital beds were dressed in red coverlets and curtains to underscore the idea of marriage as a holy sacrament.

mamacita said...

Thank you for letting me know about this book. I ordered it today for my sister, an art teacher who loves a good historical thriller. I'm sure she will love it (and I hope she will let me borrow it later ;-).

Style Court said...

Oh that's great mamacita!