Recently a Dutch book historian, Erik Kwakkel, did a stunning discovery in the archives of a library in Aix-en-Provence.
A mysterious Dutch crafstman, named A. Boogert made an encyclopedic book of colour charts,
intended to be an instructional guide to painting in watercolour.
'Klaer lightende Spiegel der Verfkonst' dates from the year 1692 and contains nearly 800 pages with all different shades of colours, all mixed and painted by hand. Each colour is named in an enormous index. Even in the 17th century they were described by poetic names such as ‘grapevine black’.
The irony is the fact that only very few people will have seen this work of art live, while it must have been one of the most comprehensive guides to paint and color of its time.Fortunately the entire book can now be seen here :