Beautiful Blue

Coolest catwalk I’ve walked across is in
Seattle City Hall. Blue Glass Passage,
it symbolizes a bridge over water.
blue catwalk

Symbolism of the Color Blue

Blue is the color of sky and water. From the time of the ancient Egyptians, the blue depths of water personified the female principle, while sky blue was associated with the male principle. Blue is the color of all heavenly gods and stands for distance, for the divine, and for the spiritual. Blue is also the symbol of fidelity. Blue flowers, such as forget-me-nots and violets, symbolize faithfulness. According to an old English custom, a bride wears blue ribbons on her wedding gown and a blue sapphire in her wedding ring.

In the English language, blue sometimes refers to sadness. The phrase “feeling blue” is linked to a custom amongst old sailing ships. If a ship loses her captain, she would fly blue flags when returning to home port.

In German, to be “blue” (blau sein) is to be drunk. This derives from the ancient use of urine (which is produced copiously by the human body after drinking alcohol) in dyeing cloth blue with woad or indigo.

Picasso the blue room
Picasso, The Blue Room, 1901

van gogh starry night
Vincent van Gogh, Starry Night, 1889

Short History of Blue Pigments

The first blue pigment was azurite, a natural mineral. Soon thereafter, Egyptians manufactured Egyptian blue, which quickly spread throughout the ancient world. During the Middle Ages, the recipe for Egyptian blue was lost, so azurite and expensive ultramarine from Afghanistan were the only sources of blue available. In the 15th century, smalt, a finely ground blue glass, came into use for painting. The first pigment produced due to the advancement of modern chemistry was a blue, Prussian blue, which was soon followed by cobalt blue and cerulean blue.

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