Monday, May 9, 2011

RED_ Auðvitað Rauðan svo ósköp Rauðan...

Red is the color of fire and blood.  Blood and fire have both positive and negative connotations;  bloodshed, aggression, war and hate are on one side, and love, warmth and compassion on the other side.  When I ask the students in my Art History class to describe their feelings about the color red they usually begin with associating it with rage, hate and aggression.  Then they will say, but it is also warm like the sun, like love, like Valentines.
The Viking God of Thunder Thor had flaming red hair, and lighting was believed to originate from blowing into his read beard.  Red animals such as the robin, the fox and squirrel were Thor's sacred creatures. Virgin Mary's hair and the robes of Angels were depicted red in medieval paintings.  The color red was expensive and it required complex technical processes to extract the dye from the cochineal beetle insect.

Cochineal beetle insect.

Perhaps red has a  more personal and emotional association  than any other color.  Red is inherently exciting, dangerous and  stimulating. The amount of red is directly related to the amount of energy perceived.  Red draws attention and a keen use of red as an accent can immediately focus attention on a particular element as we can see so clearly in this oil painting by Henry Matisse, Red Studio, 1911

The color red definitely encourages action and confidence as can be seen in my attempts to catch the color red through my camera today.

The color red provides a sense of protection from fears and anxiety.

Red symbolizes feast days of martyrs in the Catholic church.

In England, red phone booths and red double decker buses are national icons. Standard British pillar boxes (mail boxes) have been painted red since 1874.

The belief in the protective power of the color red can be traced back to the old Chinese folklore of the Nian, a man-eating beast of ancient China who used to feed on human flesh. Discovering that the creature abhorred loud noises and the color red, the people made liberal use of the color not only in their firecrackers, but also in home decorations and clothing to protect themselves from the Nian.

Last but not least, the power of Red in action


1 comment:

  1. I like this color stories.
    Keep up the good work.