Local Color

“Local Color: System of representing the color of an object which begins with its hue and adds shade or lightness by the addition of black or white pigment to give a more naturalistic appearance. Pure or shaded local color was used almost exclusively until the late 19th century, when the Impressionists discovered that the brain blends contrasting hues into vibrant impressions of actual color.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

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