“To search for the old is to find the new.” -Confucius
And their “IT” color for 2014…
It is striking to see the similarity of the above colors in contrast to the historical palettes used in the paintings, fabrics and fashions below…
|El Greco, Purification of the Temple, circa 1600|
|El Greco Palette|
A true modernist during his time, El Greco(1541-1614) used color boldly to tell the story he would paint. This work was a complete contrast to the work of Leonardo da Vinci. The acid yellows, chartreuse, and intense blues symbolize the intensity Christ had used to drive the merchants from the sanctuary depicted here. Even the purplish red used for Christ’s robe was a hallmark of El Greco (a madder lake tinted with ultramarine blue.)
|Wassily Kandinsky, Blue Mountain, circa 1908|
Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) was known as “the godfather of abstract art.” He felt colors should be used in art purely for their emotional and symbolic content and not for what they represent. Blue was the most significant and spiritual color for Kandinsky which was also a favorite of stained glass artists and icon painters. His palette above is in direct contrast to the Cubists who were also working at the same time. They felt color subverted their subject matter whereas Kandinsky celebrated color’s emotional qualities.
|Liberty of London Prints, circa 1940s|
|Liberty of London Palette|
Founded in 1875, Liberty of London became a major influencer of fashion by creating fabrics in the colors found in Far Eastern art and textiles. Arthur Lasenby Liberty introduced oriental exotica to the British middle class. As popularity grew, Liberty decided to manufacture these textiles locally. In the 1920s, the fabric’s color palette shifted from dusky color to clearer colors. The more feminine palette made the fabrics perfect for fashion. Liberty’s printed florals are still widely used today.
|Emilio Pucci, circa 1960|
|Emilio Pucci Palette|
Emilo Pucci (1914-1992) psychedelic prints revolutionized women’s fashions during the 1950s and 1960s. His signature colors…magenta, lavender, Pucci blue, deep golden yellow, acid green, and flamingo pink were all inspired by his travels to the Mediterranean coast and Tuscan landscape. He would dive with camera in hand to capture the colors of the coral, fish and seashells. He was also influenced by the artists of his time. He would swirl colors together to achieve the same explosive energy found in a Lichtenstein or Warhol canvas.
To read more about color palettes throughout art history, click here to order Living Color by Margaret Walch and Augustine Hope.