Yellow Summer Fever

Jul 27, 2021 | Art Word, Studies and Projects

We had promised to talk  more about Yellow pigments, since PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating, has been elected ‘Pantone Colour of the Year’ for this 2021.

The colour Yellow has accompanied mankind since the dawn of time with alternating fate.

In the beginning it was the Yellow Ochre, a stable and strong colour, among the first to be discovered and still used by artists around the globe.

Then Orpiment arrived.  A bright yellow. So much appreciated that it was found in the tomb of Tutankamon.

Indeed, when we think of a “happy” colour we think of yellow. The sun, in children’s drawings, and not only, is yellow. Yellow is the colour of light. Of summer.

Orpiment was used to simulate gold in Pompeian paintings.

But in the Middle Ages this colour began to take on another meaning.

It was Gold that conveyed all positive values, while yellow was employed for robes of harlots or monks in the smell of witchcraft.

The Flemish used this colour for debtors and swindlers. But also Giotto used it for the garments of Judas.

Centuries had to pass for the yellow to be reconsidered, even if not completely rehabilitated. We have to wait for the Impressionists.

Gold slowly lost its strength because it was seen as “inelegant” and yellow slowly began its rise again.

Of course, not all negative meanings vanished, but new interpretations began to be added, including associating yellow with rebirth,

Bright yellow symbolises cheerfulness that shines with liveliness, a warm shade imbued with the power of sun

In the coming days we will present on our social channels many aspects of this colour, in relation to the diagnostics of artworks.

We will discuss the behaviour of the various pigments detected with different sensors and different light sources.

Another way of seeing what is invisible!


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