Roses are red, art is blue…

Blue moon, blue suede shoes, blue bird, the Blues Brothers, blue chip, blue collar, blue eyes, blue ribbon, blue jeans, blue blood, blue light special…The color blue makes frequent appearances in both our language and line of vision. Throughout history, from ancient Egyptian craftsmen to contemporary artists, this lovely hue has caught our eye. The color’s persistent usage over thousands of years is no coincidence; studies show that blue is the world’s favorite color by both men and women. Though sometimes associated with sadness or melancholy, blue is satisfying for its tranquil, soothing qualities. Symbolically blue represents  trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, and truth; however, I find it also to be a symbol of luxury and wealth. The earth’s most expensive minerals such as lapis lazuli and ultramarine were coveted by ancient cultures, and not to mention the infamous blue Hope Diamond, weighing in at 45.53 carats and worth an estimated $200-$250 million USD. Synonymous with elegance, sophistication, and eternal love, a blue Tiffany & Co. box would make any lady swoon. Blue and white, from Delft porcelain tiles to sailor suits, is a classic color palette featured in the current exhibition New Blue and White at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; which proves this color combination will never go out of style. Fine artists have frequently turned to blue for inspiration as well, take Picasso for instance who’s Blue Period was dedicated to this solemn hue and Yves Klein who even patented his iconic, intense ultramarine blue. Well roses may be red, but a lot of art is blue; here is a roundup of blue throughout art history.

 

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Earring, Gold, lapis lazuli, Egypt, 1295 – 1186 B.C.

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Covered Jar, Stonepaste, lajvardina (lapis lazuli) overglaze painted and leaf gilded, Iran, second half 13th – 14th century

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Tile (one of a pair) painted by Frederick van FrijtomTin-enameled earthenware, Dutch, 1660-90

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Giovanni Giardini, Holy water stoup with relief of Mary of Egypt, Gilt bronze, lapis lazuli, silver, Italian (Rome), 1702

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Thomas Gainsborough, The Blue Boy, Oil on canvas, 1770

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The Hope Diamond, India (Kollur Mine), Present form first documented in the inventory of jewel merchant Daniel Eliason in 1812.

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Katsushika Hokusai, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, color woodcut, 1829-32

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Vincent van Gogh, Blossoming Almond Tree, Oil on canvas, 1890

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Edgar Degas, The Blue Dancers, Pastel, 1897

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Pablo Picasso, La Celestina/The Woman with One Eye, Oil on canvas, 1904

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Claude Monet, Nymphéas Bleus (Blue Water Lilies), Oil on canvas, 1916-19

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Georgia O’Keeffe, Blue Line, Oil on canvas, 1919

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Maxfield Parrish, Stars, Oil on panel, 1926

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Rene Magritte, The Return, Oil on canvas, 1940

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Henri Matisse, Polynesia, The Sea, Gouache on paper cut-out, 1946

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Mark Rothko, Green Over Blue, Oil on canvas, 1956

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Yves Klein, La Grande Anthropométrie bleue (ANT 105), 1960

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John McLaughlin, #18-1961, Oil on canvas, 1961

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Andy Warhol, Self-portrait, 1963

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Hans Haacke, Blue Sail, Chiffon, oscillating fan, fishing weights, thread, 1964-65

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Helen Lundeberg, Blue Planet, Acrylic on canvas, 1965

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Barnett Newman, Midnight Blue, oil on canvas, 1970

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Dan Flavin, Untitled (to Helga and Carlo, with respect and affection), 1974

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Theodoros Stamos, Infinity Fields, Lefkada Series, Acrylic on paper, 1980

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Anish Kapoor, Untitled, 1990

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George Rodrigue, Washington Blue Dog, Acrylic on canvas, 1992

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Jeff Koons, Balloon Dog (Blue), 1994-2000

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Louise Bourgeois, Couple, Fabric, 2001

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Carla Klein, Untitled, Oil on canvas, 2003

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David Moreno, One Forward Two Back Blue, Ink on paper, 2010

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Designed by Rodarte, produced by Nicholas Kirkwood, Pair of woman’s shoes, 2011Image

Gésine Hackenberg, Delft Blue ‘Plooischotel’ Necklace, 2012

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2 comments on “Roses are red, art is blue…

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