Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [Authentic_SCA] Color symbolism

Expand Messages
  • Zohra Rawling
    I was always told that blue is the colour of heaven and that is why she wears it. Ysabella
    Message 1 of 7 , Oct 2, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      I was always told that blue is the colour of heaven and that is why she
      wears it.


      Ysabella
    • Amy L. Hornburg Heilveil
      ... Purity and peacefulness, yes, these are things that are symbolized by the color blue - at one time the color blue was also thought to have a calming effect
      Message 2 of 7 , Oct 2, 2001
      • 0 Attachment
        At 06:28 AM 10/2/2001 +0000, you wrote:
        I have been hanging out with friends and talking about art when the question was posed, "Why is the Virgin always wearing red and blue?" 

        Purity and peacefulness, yes, these are things that are symbolized by the color blue - at one time the color blue was also thought to have a calming effect on headaches.  Ultramarine blue (ground lapis) as the most costly of colors should be reserved for the most revered of personages - the Virgin Mary, as the mother of Christ would certainly qualify as such. I've also been told that azure, blue from the stone azurite, was used exclusively for the Virgin as it is the only color costly enough to be deemed worthy of her. (Either way, they were both expensive and used to either show one's wealth or respect to the item/person being painted.) One of Mary's titles is 'Queen of Heaven', thus it is fitting that she be clothed in blue, the color of the heavens.

        Taken from an unremembered webpage:  Purkinje discovered that in dim lighting as the rods come into play the red cones become less active. The color range we see shifts toward the violet/blue end of the spectrum. Because of this, the reds in dim light often appear grey while blues suddenly take on an ethereal brightness. It's now known as the Purkinje effect. What is interesting is how in dimly lit apses of churches, the blues do appear vibrant and glowing, the red recedes into more of a background color.  So the figure of the Virgin is 'lit' as it were, just from the dim lighting in many church apses.

        Me again:
        Another symbolic meaning for these particular colors is such: red as fire/trials.  The Virgin Mary went through trials, to become the tempered and pure woman she was - her pregnancy brought shame upon her, her family and her betrothed.  She delivered Christ of her body, thus the blood of birth and she witnessed the death of her son (and by the time he arrived at the cross, he wasn't in such good shape, with a crown of thorns, having been lashed, then nailed to the boards and finally having a soldier stick a sword into his side; it was not a bloodless death). So she went through the blood of his birth and witnessed the blood of his death - things a mother would carry close to her: therefore her inner garment is red.  Red is also said to bolster one's courage, another reason for Mary to wear that color close to her. Blue as the color of her outer garment shows a number of things also.  It gives the world proof of her purity, her closeness to heaven and her calm.  In the face of the ridicule she withstood as an unwed mother an outward sign of purity is a needed reminder.  Blue was believed to drive out demons and cast away sin - therefore, she is within a raiment that will not allow her to be touched by evil or sin and she remains pure forever.

        Red also symbolizes power and one is bid to remember that Mary has the power to intercede on one's behalf to her Son.  Red as a fugitive dye was not cheap and therefore, used on the clothing of the elite - consider, Cardinals wear red and the only person higher than them in the (earthly) Church is the Pope himself.

          Any more ideas or books I could look into? 

        Something I found on the web that sounded interesting but it's $60.

        http://www.onlinetoday.com/users/swanjones/home.htm
        Volume IV: The Virgin Mary in Art, Renaissance to
        Reformation
        Video Tape: 1996 (ISBN: 1-882238-07-9) Booklet: (ISBN:1-882238-08-7)
        I hope my ramblings and vague recollections have helped a bit.

        Cu drag,
        Despina




        We are all faced with great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.
        cited in Bits and Pieces
      • Grooby, Peter
        ... I don t know about red, but this is the explaination I was given for blue. The particular shade of blue often used was made from ground up Lapis Lazuli.
        Message 3 of 7 , Oct 2, 2001
        • 0 Attachment
          > Date: Tue, 02 Oct 2001 06:28:43 -0000
          > From: "Sunny Medlock" <sunnyday78723@...>
          > Subject: Color symbolism
          >
          > I have been hanging out with friends and talking about art when the
          > question was posed, "Why is the Virgin always wearing red and blue?"
          > Of course, as an art history student, I feel embarassed that I don't
          > know the answer, and proceded to look it up in books, to no avail.
          > Then I got on line, where the only thing I could find out was that
          > blue symbolized purity and peacefulness. Any more ideas or books I
          > could look into? Gwendoline?
          >
          I don't know about red, but this is the explaination I was given for
          blue.

          The particular shade of blue often used was made from ground up
          Lapis Lazuli. This happened to be one of the most expensive colours. So out
          of a choice of which paint to use for such an important figure, they choose
          the most expensive one.

          Vitale




          > ________________________________________________________________________
          > ________________________________________________________________________
          >
          >
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >


          **********************************************************************
          This electronic message together with any attachments is confidential. If
          you receive it in error: (i) you must not use, disclose, copy or retain
          it; (ii) please contact the sender immediately by reply email and then
          delete the emails. Views expressed in this email may not be those of the
          Airways Corporation of New Zealand Limited
          **********************************************************************
        • Marianne Perdomo Machin
          ... A very interesting question, which we were discussing in another list. I m glad it s showing up here. I initially believed the blue arguments and so on and
          Message 4 of 7 , Oct 2, 2001
          • 0 Attachment
            Sunny Medlock wrote:

            > I have been hanging out with friends and talking about art when the
            > question was posed, "Why is the Virgin always wearing red and blue?"
            > Of course, as an art history student, I feel embarassed that I don't
            > know the answer, and proceded to look it up in books, to no avail.
            > Then I got on line, where the only thing I could find out was that
            > blue symbolized purity and peacefulness. Any more ideas or books I
            > could look into? Gwendoline?

            A very interesting question, which we were discussing in another list. I'm
            glad it's showing up here.
            I initially believed the blue arguments and so on and have heard different
            explanations for them - the most out of the way being that blue was once
            associated with the goddess Astarte (at least I think it was her) and could
            have "migrated" by association. But then I started looking at pics from a
            couple of sources and found no convincing argument that the Virgin dressed in
            any particular colors. Sure, she's often seen in blue and/or red but then so
            are a lot of other people. I actually did a sort of "control test" - in
            images in which the Virgin does not appear, are there images dressed in
            blue/red? And sure, they were there quite often. So now my belief is that any
            such arguments about red/blue associations must either be reffered to
            particular times and areas, if they are indeed true. Some may even be reasons
            chosen after the fact. One of these latter cases are apparently the crescents
            commonly found at the feet of Virgins, and which have been associated with
            pre-christian deities, but these crescents don't usually appear in the
            medieval figures, only in later ones, AFAIK.
            But I am still intrigued at all the various arguments and see how well and
            how far they hold up. I also want to look into different manuscripts to check
            whether my impresson was correct or not. And I will be happy if proved wrong.

            All the best,


            Marianne
          • Zohra Rawling
            well I had answered quickly that blue was the colour of heaven but there is more to it in the Assyrian tradition. Ishtar has a necklace of lapis lazuli that
            Message 5 of 7 , Oct 2, 2001
            • 0 Attachment
              well I had answered quickly that blue was the colour of heaven but there
              is more to it in the Assyrian tradition.

              Ishtar has a necklace of lapis lazuli that was given to her by her father
              the Sky God.

              also blue keeps away the evil eye because it is the colour of heaven.
              (I personally am fond of lapis lazuli)

              I know that in the assyrian church Mary is clothed in blue.


              hope this helps some


              Ysabella
            • Danielle Nunn-Weinberg
              Greetings, As far as I know, there is no one *right* answer to that and the other answers pretty much cover the standard reasons given. : ) Cheers, Gwendoline
              Message 6 of 7 , Oct 2, 2001
              • 0 Attachment
                Greetings,

                As far as I know, there is no one *right* answer to that and the other
                answers pretty much cover the standard reasons given. : )

                Cheers,
                Gwendoline

                At 06:28 AM 10/2/2001 +0000, you wrote:
                >I have been hanging out with friends and talking about art when the
                >question was posed, "Why is the Virgin always wearing red and blue?"
                >Of course, as an art history student, I feel embarassed that I don't
                >know the answer, and proceded to look it up in books, to no avail.
                >Then I got on line, where the only thing I could find out was that
                >blue symbolized purity and peacefulness. Any more ideas or books I
                >could look into? Gwendoline?
                >
                >Many thanks in advance,
                >Elisabetta
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >----------------------------------------------------
                >This is the Authentic SCA eGroup
                >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                >authentic_SCA-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                >
                >
                >
                >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.