Janet Wolff
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Colour (mainly blue)

Ideas about the effects of a certain colour, its associations and symbolism, are far from uniform cross-culturally. In addition, the naming of colours is almost impossible to clarify for earlier periods and for other cultures. The complementary colour is the combination of the two other primaries (red plus yellow as complementary to blue). Or (the Newtonian version), the colour which, combined with its primary, makes white in coloured light, grey in coloured paint. In this chapter, the author focuses on the social and personal meanings of colour (mainly blue). In Western Europe since the medieval period there are plenty of examples of shifting meanings of colour terms. Blue, says Michel Pastoureau, was considered a warm colour in medieval and Renaissance Europe, and only began to be seen as cool in the seventeenth century.

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