A title from The Old School Press 

The Lost Colours of the Cyclades

A new study of colour in the Greek islands by John Sutcliffe

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About the book

In print

John Sutcliffe's The Colours of Rome, which we published in October 2013, was a great success and sold out quickly. So we were delighted to have the opportunity of working on another book by him on a similar colour-based theme.

In his capacity as a decorative artist, John has done a great deal of work in the Cyclades, in particular on the small island of Schinoussa. One of the outcomes of this has been a growing fascination with what happened to colour on the buildings of Greece and the islands in particular. Why are so many buildings today white? Has that always been the fashion there? White is what we tourists expect, but is that white authentic for the Cycladic islands in particular? John has researched the answers to these questions, visiting the islands and examining the walls of older buildings, looking for traces of the ‘lost colours’ and their history. An enthusiastic cook, he has also taken the opportunity to sample – and weave into his researches – the cuisine of the Greek islands. Parallels emerge between colour and food, driven largely by the same external forces.

Those lost colours as presented in the book


About the edition

Like The Colours of Rome, this new title has colour at its core. Standard copies take the form of the case-bound book presented within a sleeve to the inside of which is attached a portfolio of twenty large, individually hand-painted cards illustrating the representative colours that John found, together with a swatch card with colour chips of each. Within the book there is coverage of each of the colours accompanied by further hand-painted chips. The colour paints used here have been specially mixed to match John’s field records. The book itself is bound in full cloth that has been silk-screened with stripes in the colours of the Greek national flag. The sleeve is a simple case, bound in blue cloth with a spine label, and the portfolio is formed from a heavy mid-grey paper.

Each of the de luxe copies comes in a solander box bound in full blue cloth with a spine label. It contains, as well as a standard copy of the book as described above, photographs of two advertisements for a major local paint supplier who operated in the islands in the nineteenth-century, and the means to choose your own colour scheme for the front of a local café. For the latter, John has prepared a line-drawing of the café which we have then printed on a sheet of Arches Acquarelle; John has in turn coloured the drawing in water-colours and we have cut out those areas representing the walls and tympanum (it has a classical form) so that the coloured sheets beneath it appear.

You can see the structure and contents of both editions by using the buttons below. Both editions are the same height and depth as corresponding editions of The Colours of Rome.

There are 135 copies of the standard edition and 30 of the de luxe (which are ALL SOLD). The text has been printed letterpress in 14pt Monotype Perpetua, with headings in digital Steinantik. Six linocuts by John are scattered through the text. The text paper is 140gsm Madrid Litho from the Somerset mill. The page size is 315 mm by 225 mm. 54pp. Standard edition copies are £185 each. (The de luxe copies were £350 each.)

Find out more about the book

Watch a video showing the standard edition:

View stills of the standard edition:

View stills of the de luxe edition (out of print):

What others have said about the book

'a most beautiful production', 'a joy to have and to hold', 'highly original', 'nutty', 'magnificent', 'a delight' 'treat after treat', 'a very good book', 'a wonderful book', 'a real treat for the eye', 'truly splendid', 'a truly wonderful book', 'lovely, beautiful, excellent', 'a very impressive production', 'a beautiful production',  'very impressive'...

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via the homepage of our catalogue website
and you can buy online at our shop.


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