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Colour is in the eye of the beholder

March 2, 2015

black blue

While debating the colour of the dress, not only have the orders skyrocketed, but also the questions on colors. There are no blue animals and blue flowers are mostly hybrids created by humans, no wonder early civilizations did not know the colour blue. Even the sea in the ancient Greek epic poem Odyssey is described as the colour of the wine-dark sea.

From our colourful prospective, the ancient world would seem a murky place, with mostly black and white and metallic, with occasional flashes of red or yellow. Ancient languages like Greek or Hebrew did not have a word for blue, nor did Chinese and Japanese. The only ancient culture to have a separate word for blue were the Egyptians, it is no coincidence they were also the inventors of a blue dye. Even later, during the Renaissance, the only source of colour blue was Lapis lazuri. This valuable stone had to be brought from Afghanistan and crushed into even more precious pigment. It was only in 1828, when modern chemists started to process coal, did the world encounter affordable blue dyes and pigments, still used in the fashion industry today.

No matter whether the dress is white-gold or blue-black, the discussion reminded us the colour is in the eye of the beholder as well.

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From → Leasure Pleasure

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