The paper presents work on the retrieval of artworks for color artistry concepts. First, we confirm the view that the query-by-example paradigm, fundamental to current content-based retrieval systems, is able to extend only limited usefulness. We then propose a concept-based retrieval engine based on the generative grammar of elemental concepts methodology. In the latter, the language by which color artistry concepts are communicated in artworks is used to operate semantic searches. The color artistry language is explicated as elemental concepts and the associated generative grammar. The elemental concepts are used to index the artworks, while the generative grammar is used to facilitate post-coordinate expression of color artistry concept queries by using the elemental concepts.