From Publishers Weekly
Whether it was in a cave, an early Minoan palace or an American Federalist home, people have always looked to bring color and design into their living spaces. Both science and psychology influence the art of marrying style and pigment: "Nature has always provided the visual stimulation of color, light and texture, while history has shown the human need for variety and change," writes Rompilla in her breathless survey of 3000 years of architecture, art history, color theory and science. Complementing an eclectic assortment of 125 illustrations (including 95 in color), the text is concise, lucid and well-organized. Such an ambitious synthesis could have easily become either chaotic and dense or thin and overly simplistic, but Rompilla hits all the highlights and stays on point, even when covering Aristotle in a few lines: "He believed that the rainbow had only three fixed, or primary colors: red, green and blue (although yellow was visible), and he assigned these three primaries to pigment as well." Broad ranging despite its brevity, her introduction to the study and practice of color for interiors leaves the reader with the sense of the complexity and depth of the subject-and might inspire some to study further. Except for a few anomalies, such as an out-of-focus photograph of Josef Hoffmann's Palais Stoclet, the art is well-chosen, nicely reproduced and beautifully incorporated into the book's coffee-table format.
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About the Author
Ethel Rompilla is a professor of colour and an associate dean of the New York School of Interior Design in Manhattan. The recipient of numerous awards for her teaching of colour, she is also a practicing interior designer. Prior to her educational work, she was a designer with the firm of Hellmuth Obata Kassabaum Architects in New York and a collaborator with furniture designer Norman Diekman.