Michel Pastoureau

Michel Pastoureau is a distinguished medievalist who has conducted highly original work on the history of symbolism, with a particular focus on colour. He has held the Chair of the History of Western Symbolism at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris since 1983. His early work was on the cultural significance of medieval representations of animals in bestiaries, which was followed by studies of heraldry, emblems and striped fabrics. He is most famous for his writings on colour, in which he has sought to illustrate the ever-changing webs of significance attached to individual colours and how culture has profoundly altered these meanings and collective perceptions over time. This has led to historical studies of individual colours such as blue, green and black, as well as a personal reflection on the significance of colour in individual memory, published by Polity as The Colours of Our Memories.