The word yellow comes from the Old English geolu. Yellow is associated with sunshine,
knowledge, and the flourishing of living creatures, but also with autumn and maturity.
The yellow sun was one of humanity’s most important symbols and was worshiped as
God in many cultures. According to Greek mythology, the sun-god Helios wore a
yellow robe and rode in a golden chariot drawn by four fiery horses across the
heavenly firmament. The radiant yellow light of the sun personified divine wisdom.
The oldest yellow pigment is yellow ochre, which was amongst the first pigments
used by humans. Egyptians and the ancient world made wide use of the mineral
orpiment for a more brilliant yellow than yellow ochre. In the Middle Ages,
Europeans manufactured lead tin yellow. They later imported Indian yellow and
rediscovered the method for the production of Naples yellow, which was used by
the Egyptians. Modern chemistry led to the creation of many other yellows,
including chrome yellow, cadmium yellow, lemon yellow, and cobalt yellow.