Blue would have thought?

Sometimes it is quite hard to find a charity shop artwork that inspires you to write about it.  I picked out this next one because of the colour: blue.  I thought that there might be some interesting research to be done on that colour and I wasn’t wrong.  There must be billions of words written about blue from its history to its meaning to its use so I shall attempt to reduce that down to a few interesting facts.

In colour psychology blue represents trust, honesty and loyalty.  It is most people’s favourite colour including when it comes to choosing their toothbrushes! It reduces stress (for example looking up at the sky or at the sea although neither of these are actually blue but that is a whole other story).  It is the least common colour in the food we eat.  It is used for uniforms around the world and for signage on for example motorways.  It relates to baby boys and to sad music, coolness and depression.

Blue is one of the three primary colours but historically was difficult to make.  For example there is no blue in cave paintings.  The earliest known blue dye came from woad.  The ancient Egyptians used lapis lazuli from Afghanistan and in about 2500 BC began to make their own.  The Greeks imported blue dye from India but the Romans considered it the colour of barbarians.  In the 12th century blue began to be used for the clothing of the Virgin Mary and it was considered a colour of holiness and virtue.  It then became the colour of power (hence blue blood for royalty) and the wealthy.

Finally an artist, who has just signed his name as Ivan, has used blue in his oil painting which looks to me like a wild sea on a stormy night.  I wonder if Ivan was aware of all the above?