Color, Couleur

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Nicole de Lamargé. Fushia et turquoise. Dior

«The first discovered aniline dye —the first dye that was organic but was synthetized rather than naturally occurring—appeared in the Victorian era, and not without some help from Queen Victoria. In 1856 the Englishman William Henry Perkin discovered the formula attempting to synthetize quinine for treatment of malaria. He named it mauve and built a factory to produce it commercially, and in 1862 the queen promoted the endeavor bu appearing at the International Exposition in a mauve dress. Unfortunately, this mauve dye produced shades that faded entirely within ten years. Nonetheless, the era of artificial dyes had begun.
The next aniline dye to appear was even more clearly a piece of history. In 1859 King Vittorio Emmanuel of Sardinia made a secret pact with Napoleon III and, hoping to unify Italy, declared war on Austria, which then controlled northern Italy. Soon after they succeeded in defeating the Austrian in two towns west of Milan a purplish red dye was discovered. In honor of the Italian’s victory and as a reminder of the Austrians’humiliating defeat, the new dye was named for one of the annexed towns: Magenta.»

Designer’s Guide to Color, Chronicle Books, p. 76

«Although the fist plants appeared on this earth 500 million years ago, another 50 millions years passed before they began producing flowers, and even then blooms were not boldly prominent. About 100 millions years ago, long before human beings developed, flowers as they’re known today began to appear in various colors. Insects can be credited for determining which colors flourished, since insects are sensitive to the shorter wavelengths of color and actually only see four sets of wavelengths, orange-green, green-blue, blue-violet and ultraviolet. Flower color has evolved due to its ability or inability to attract insects for pollination; few red flowers have survived in the natural world, but many blue and purple flowers bloom in the spring and summer, when insects are most active.»

Designer’s Guide to Color, Chronicle Books, p. 104.

«Nous affirmerons maintenant, bien que la chose puisse paraître quelque peu étrange, que l’œil ne voit aucune forme, le clair, l’obscur et la couleur constituant ensemble ce qui pour l’organe distingue un objet de l’autre, et les parties de l’objet entre elles. Ainsi édifions-nous avec ces trois éléments le monde visible et rendons du même coup la peinture possible, laquelle est capable de produire sur la toile un monde visible beaucoup plus parfait que le monde réel.
L’œil doit son existence à la lumière. A partir d’organes animaux secondaires et indifférents, la lumière produit pour elle un organe qui lui soit semblable, et ainsi l’œil se forme par la lumière et pour la lumière, afin que la lumière intérieure vienne répondre à la lumière intérieure.
[…] la couleur serait un phénomène élémentaire naturel pour le sens visuel, se manifestant comme tous les autres par séparation et contraste, par mélange et réunion, par intensification et neutralisation, par communication et répartition et ainsi de suite, et qui peut être envisagé et compris de la meilleure façon à l’aide de ces formules naturelles et générales.»
J.W. Gœthe, Traité des couleurs, Triades, pp. 80 et 81.

«A prime cultural use of colors is in flags, and here, as in the stongest signals in nature, hues almost always vibrant and bold. The flag of Islam —green plus red, white and black— assertively combines associations of courage and blood (red), tolerance (white) and victory (for Islamics, black). The use of green with black signifies pan-Arabism, and all the flags of the Arab nations employ this four-color scheme. In Africa, the color schemes chosen by nations that achieved independence in the 1950s and 1960s are predominently green, red and yellow: green for fertile lands, red for blood lost in revolution and yellow for the sun and natural ressources.»
Designer’s Guide to Color
, Chronicle Books, p. 124

La polychromie isaline + réf. noble: peinture murale fin du Ier siècle av. J.-C.

BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS, Survival (Original 1979 UK Island label 10-track vinyl LP, including Ambush In The Night and Wake Up And Live.

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Michael Lin al Centro Pecci ©Foto di Massimo Listri

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