As the art world moved from representational to abstract, no small part of the intellectual motivation for this development came from the realization that colour provided a much larger design element than previously thought.
This can be vividly seen in Marvels and Mirages of Orientalism: From Spain to Morocco, Benjamin Constant in his time which runs at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts from January 31, 2015 to May 31, 2015.
Benjamin Constant lived from 1845 to 1902 and was well known and successful in his time. His work was influenced by the Moorish palaces of Spain and Morocco. His ability as a colourist is remarkable and it is to that use of rich colours that I have alluded to above.