The Blooming Colours of Daffodils in a Grey Spring.

Our daffodils are now long since bloomed and we are just about to step into March where spring traditionally becomes more than pinpricks of colour against a muted grey world.

Colour is, of course, part of the spectrum of light and it is this, that probably gives colour, its or some of its impact on our mood.

Our impression on seeing a colour is also influenced by a huge range of social, economic and even political connections.

In fact the ancient Egyptians created a wonderful blue dye seen all over Egypt in tombs thousands of years ago.  Read about it in chemistryworld if you are interested .

The Chinese later invented a manmade Chinese Purple at the time of the first Emperor.  Interestingly, these colours were not used again after ancient times.

Purple Chamber

The Purple Chamber

The colour purple, for example, was once an incredibly expensive dye obtained from sea snails and therefore reserved for the imperial court.

The Byzantine Princess Anna Comnena, for instance, boasted that she was `born in the purple’, meaning that her mother gave birth to her in a special imperial room covered in purple cloth.  Industrial dyes that developed in Victorian times made colours egalitarian for the first time in history but there is still many subtle influences over our choices.

The Russian word for red is `Krasni’ and it is similar to another Russian word, `Kraseevi’ which means beautiful and it has often been speculated that this co-incidence has led to a mental association between the two.

In England, unspoilt woodland used to be called the `Green wood’ and the word is associated with vitality, renewal but also naivety or inexperience.

What you notice in a country with such changing weather as ours is that colours can change in minutes and we often long for bright colours on a clear day no matter what the season.

St Ives

St Ives

Artists are especially sensitive to colour and you often find colonies of artists in places with `good’ light like St Ives in Cornwall or the South France.  You can actually recognise a `St Ives’ blue

in a painting and you can often tell the location of a photograph by the shades of colour more easily than the landscape.

We drink in colour to enrich our daily lives but I think we’ve all asked at some point whether everyone sees the same red, blue or green.

There are some lovely YouTube videos to try and explain the issue, here is one “Do I See Colors the Same Way You Do?

I hope you enjoy the colours of the season.

Colourful yellow spring daffodils blooming in the garden at Cardiff Castle with a crenellated wall visible behind, Cardiff, Wales

Colourful yellow spring daffodils blooming in the garden at Cardiff Castle with a crenellated wall visible behind, Cardiff, Wales

 

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