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Getting to Know Your Colors, pt 1

Colors affect us. No question there, right? Each hue seems to have a different emotional effect, whether they’re connected to our own history and experience or to something more mystical, the symbolism is profound. Here are some of the more general emblematic uses and symbols for six of the big colors. Be sure to tune into part 2, tomorrow!

1. Green

a) The ancients often used the same words for deep blue, green and steel gray.
b) In Japanese, the same word can be used to say blue or green.
c) Green = money and riches, also growth and prosperity (because of nature/trees)
d) But watch out! Too much money and prosperity makes people green with envy In antiquity, the Hebrew word for envy, qinah, referred to the burning color in the face produced by a deep emotion. The Greeks believed that jealousy was accompanied by an overproduction of bile, lending a yellowish-green pallor to the victim’s complexion. In the seventh century B.C., the poetess Sappho used the word “green” to describe the face of a stricken lover.
e) The most famous such reference and the origin of the term “green-eyed monster” is Iago’s speech in Shakespeare’s Othello: “O! Beware my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-ey’d monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.”
f) Of course, these days green is associated with the movement to clean up the environment. Go green!

2. White

a) Ah, the color of light itself! That’s why it’s always been associated with God, or the local divine power. (Good over evil.)
b) The priests of Jupiter wore white robes.
d) In Egypt, Osiris wore a white tiara.
e) The Greek word for white, aspros, suggests happiness and gaiety.
f) Romans used white chalk to mark auspicious days (and, conversely, black chalk for inauspicious days).
g) But least you think white has only been associated with good, let’s not forget that pallor and blankness can be seen as sinister and, of course, ghosts and phantoms are often depcitetd as white.


3. Black

a) The opposite of innocence might be defilement—black is mourning where white is joy.
b) Black has long been associated with error and annihilation.
c) The Athenian expiatory ship that sailed every year to Crete and Delos hoisted black sails when it departed (and, surprise surprise, white sails when it returned).
d) Speaking of sailors, Pirates favored black hats.
e) More recently, we have Darth Vader and other nefarious sorts represented by black
f) The eight ball in billiards is black (“Behind the eight ball”)
g) But then there’s the other side of black that signifies a solid basic or structural strength.
h) Black also can conjure up feelings of peace and quiet, in contrast to the nosy agitation of light. Think of the deep restful quiet of a heavy night’s sleep.



4. Red

a) Of all the hues, red generally pushes the most emotional buttons.
b) Love, valor, fire, fervor, energy - they’re all red.
c) Red is the sign of alarm!
d) Why is the Staples That Was Easy Button red?
e) Red can represent sin, too: “though your sins be as scarlet.” (Isaiah 1:18)

5. Yellow

a) Next to white, yellow, the lightest of colors, also generally symbolizes “light” though not as pure as white.
b) Yellow is rich and “gold” - the noblest of metals.
c) Divine love enlightening human understanding has been symbolized by yellow
d) Yellow is the imperial color in China
e) On the other side, we have sayings like “a yellow streak”—which means acting in a cowardly way and not very brave.

6. Blue

a) Blue has long been associated with truth, wisdom, divine eternity and immortality.
c) While white may be an absolute truth, blue is a truth that could be revealed to and understood by men.
d) Blue moons, the third full moon in a season with four full moons, or the second full moon of a calendar month, are rare.
e) Blue may be sad and lonely for some these days, but traditionally its been associated with the idea of constancy and loyalty.
f) In China blue was the color of the dead (vis-à-vis red, the color of the living)
g) On a personal note, blue has long been my favorite of all the colors!

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Museum Discovers Classic Renaissance Painting Hidden in Its Own Collection
Andrea Mantegna circa 1475
Andrea Mantegna circa 1475
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

A long-lost painting by a master artist of the Renaissance was recently rediscovered in the storeroom of an Italian museum near Milan, according to The Art Newspaper and The Wall Street Journal.

The painting in question, Andrea Mantegna’s 15th century The Resurrection of Christ, was found by a curator at an art museum in the city of Bergamo. The Accademia Carrara has been in possession of the Mantegna painting since the 19th century, but long ago discounted it as a copy. While working on a catalogue for the museum in March, Accademia Carrara curator Giovanni Valagussa took note of the tempera-on-panel work and began to investigate its origins.

Count Guglielmo Lochis purchased the painting in 1846, cataloguing it as an original Mantegna; it was bequeathed to the museum as part of his collection after his death in 1859. But decades later, other experts cast doubt on the originality of the work, first re-attributing it to the artist’s son, and later suggesting that it was a copy that was not even made in his workshop. The museum removed it from display sometime before 1912, and it has been in storage for more than a century.

A painting depicting Jesus rising from the dead while soldiers look on
The Resurrection of Christ
Andrea Mantegna, Accademia Carrara

Upon inspecting the painting, Valagussa suspected it was more than just a copy. The painting features a small cross at the bottom of the image that looked disconnected from the rest, and the structure of the back of the painting made it seem like it might be part of a larger work. Valagussa tracked down another Mantegna painting, Descent Into Limbo, that seemed to fit underneath—the paintings are likely two halves of one image that was cut apart.

The Accademia Carrara also conducted an infrared survey of The Resurrection of Christ, discovering that the artist drew nude figures first, then painted over them with images of clothed soldiers, a technique that Mantegna was known for.

A world expert on Mantegna, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Keith Christiansen, did his own analysis and believes the painting in Bergamo to be an authentic, high-quality Mantegna. That means that the Accademia Carrara’s forgotten wood panel, previously insured for around $35,000, is probably worth between $25 million and $30 million.

The museum hopes to one day bring the two parts of the painting, The Resurrection of Christ and the privately owned Descent Into Limbo, together in an exhibition in the future.

[h/t The Art Newspaper]

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USPS Is Issuing Its First Scratch-and-Sniff Stamps This Summer
USPS
USPS

Summertime smells like sunscreen, barbecues, and—starting June 20, 2018—postage stamps. That's when the United States Postal Service debuts its first line of scratch-and-sniff stamps in Austin, Texas with perfumes meant to evoke "the sweet scent of summer."

The 10 stamps in the collection feature playful watercolor illustrations of popsicles by artist Margaret Berg. If the designs alone don't immediately transport you back to hot summer days spent chasing ice cream trucks, a few scratches and a whiff of the stamp should do the trick. If you're patient, you can also refrain from scratching and use them to mail a bit of summer nostalgia to your loved ones.

Since it was invented in the 1960s, scratch-and-sniff technology has been incorporated into photographs, posters, picture books, and countless kids' stickers.

The first-class mail "forever" stamps will be available in booklets of 20 for $10. You can preorder yours online before they're unveiled at the first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony at Austin's Thinkery children's museum next month.

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