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Dina: History of colour. Red (str. 3)

"It is hard to imagine nowadays" — rançois Boucher writes in his history of fashion [6] — "but it was the need for the dye for textiles (…) that made Carthage launch an expedition to southern Spain in 530 BC".
Generally the thing was about the precious purple dye which Phoenicians made of Murex snail, while in Spain it was obtained from two sources: a common lichen and a plant called Calamus draco, whose resin gave the dye of very intensive colour. In Rome the red colour joined the army, where it ruled until recently it was replaced with dark blue. I wrote about it in the previous text about colours (Dina: Blue).
n ancient Rome brides used to wear red veils, which is now a tradition in China. Red things bring good luck to young people all over Europe who take school-leaving exams. In Russian language the words beautiful (krasivy) and red (krasny) derive from the same root, and — quoting after Maria Rzepecka — "the use of red dyes in Russian icons was reserved for the best painters" [7].
To cut the long story short, it was Christianity that put some order in the terminology — what kind of red should be associated with what meaning. Purple means power, scarlet — sins, vermilion, i.e. the colour which is closest to our modern image of clear red — joy and well-being.

Wiadukt na krakowskich Mogilanach | Viaduct in Mogilany in Cracow
© arch. BBR Polska, fot. K. Janikowska Łuk Erosa na obwodnicy Jeleniej Góry | Cupid's arch on Jelenia Góra bypass © arch. Firma Gotowski, fot. M. Chełminiak I „drobiazg” w Szczecinie | And a

(zdjęć w galerii: 3)

Anyway, the red colour is still dychotomic. Mary of Magdala is often presented in red clothes which symbolise sensuousness and sin on the one hand, and spiritual unity and love to Christ on another. And still red, the colour of blood, is both the symbol of death and life, love and hatred, crusades and the Red Cross, the fire that gives birth and the fire that destroys. And it does not matter how many historians and spiritual leaders we quote — is there a woman who has not got a red dress and red shoes, or at least a red handbag, in her wardrobe? The colour of the colours — a red lipstick rules.



Literature
[1] Gdy czerwiec polski barwił europę; http://www.mowiawieki.pl/artykul.html?id_artykul=1403
[2] http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czerwiec_polski
[3] Kristian Peters, Fabelfroh http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Scleranthus_perennis#mediaviewer/File:Scleranthus_perennis.jpeg
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red
[5] Maria Rzepecka, Historia koloru w dziejach malarstwa europejskiego, Arkady, reprint, Warszawa 2009
[6] François Boucher, Historia mody. Dzieje ubiorów od czasów prehistorycznych do końca XX wieku, Arkady, Warszawa 2003
[7] Maria Rzepecka, Historia koloru w dziejach malarstwa europejskiego, Arkady, reprint, Warszawa 2009

Umberto Eco, Historia piękna, Rebis, Poznań 2005
Krzysztof Jurek, Znaczenie symboliczne i funkcje koloru w kulturze, [w:] Kultura. Media. Teologia.
Julian Bell, Lustro świata. Nowa historia sztuki, Arkady, Warszawa 2009


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