I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I wasn't expecting very much, but was surprised by the depth of research in each of the colors shown here. The information comes from art history, of course, but also includes military history (who knew Lord Mountbatten had a camouflage color named after him?); archaeology (Neolithic paintings with a description of the color palette used by stone age people) and chemistry (who knew that some of the chemical techniques to make colors were so complex or lengthy to complete?).
Each page has the color placed on the edge, and an anecdotal description and history of each color or shade. Each description is a page and a half or more, but each one did the best thing that an author can do- make the reader want to find out more. The old description of good writing, that it is "for provocation rather than information", is accomplished here, since the reader is provoked to find out more.
Recommended for larger libraries with reference sections; art libraries and collections; general humanities collections, and high school libraries. Not a good book for reading in one sitting, but it is a good travel book or one for reading with frequent interruptions (in short, a good bathroom book). I enjoyed it.