An illustrated tome on the history of colour theory that also follows the development of printing is my kind of coffee-table book! I’ve been reading Colour: A Visual History, published by the Tate gallery, in what I think of as “National Geographic reading”: first you look at the images, then you read the captions, and then you start absorbing the text. (Buy book , affiliate link)
The American edition is published by the Smithsonian and has a longer, mouthful of a title: Color: A Visual History from Newton to Modern Color Matching Guides.
It’s packed with reproductions of colour charts and theories, with well-written, accessible explanations of the who, what, when of each.
I’ve stared at this music-colour chart for ages, with do-re-me running through my head. Here’s the contents list: