The Rainbow's Egg

1974 (made)
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C
Place Of Origin

Colour screenprint on paper from a computer-generated graphic, mounted on board.

object details
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Screenprint on paper
Brief Description
Screenprint on gold paper from a computer-generated graphic, 'The Rainbow's Egg', 1974, by Colin Emmett and Alan Kitching.
Physical Description
Colour screenprint on paper from a computer-generated graphic, mounted on board.
  • Height: 75.1cm
  • Width: 62cm
Copy Number
12 of 100
Marks and Inscriptions
  • '12/100' (Edition number, in pencil, in lower left side.)
  • 'Colin Emmett Alan Kitching August 74' (Artists' signatures and date, in pencil, in lower right side.)
Credit line
Given by the Computer Arts Society, supported by System Simulation Ltd, London
Attribution note: This was the first high-resolution image to be produced at the Atlas Laboratory in the UK using Antics software. The original image was about 3000 pixels in height.

The image was created on an ICL1906A computer with input from a D-Mac digitiser and output to a SC-4020 microfilm recorder. In describing the technique to create this work, Emmett explained:

“The patterns on the snake were produced from the twelve month names by transforming, or in-betweening, one name into the next so that, for instance, ‘January’ transforms to ‘February’ in 31 steps, or days. Each day was fitted into its appropriate day division on the original circular area, and transformed into its position on the egg shaped area. The whole image was then scanned and output to the plotter.”

Colour was added during the silk screening process and printed onto gold paper.

Emmett quoted by Lansdown, J., “Not quite computing – almost art” The Computer Bulletin

Series, cited by Catherine Mason, ‘The Personalised Surface: New Approaches to Digital Printmaking’, Victoria & Albert Museum, 3 April 2009.

Other Number
CAS/A/0003 - Previous owner's number
Accession Number

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record created April 7, 2009
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